Dear Ambassador Erkan Ozoral,
Dear Abulfas Garayev, the Minister of Culture,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
International Day of Nowruz was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution adopted on 23 February 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday including Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Albania, North Macedonia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.
For centuries now, Nowruz brings together families, neighbours and communities as a driving force of peace, friendship and good neighbourly relations.
I think we all recognise that today our world needs the spirit of Nowruz, more than anything.
When we see all the conflicts around the world.
When we see the plight of migrants and refugees.
When we see the rise of xenophobia and racism in so many parts of the world.
It is clear that we all need the spirit of Nowruz to plant seeds of peace and justice; to ensure respect to human dignity; to germinate all year round and fill our houses, communities and planet with flowers of prosperity.
I thank the Ambassador of Turkey, his Excellency Erkan Ozoral, for bringing us together to celebrate Nowruz. I am delighted to say to all of you happy Nowruz!
For more than 300 million people, Nowruz is about new beginnings.
The beginning of a new year. The arrival of spring. The renewal of nature.
Nowruz unites communities beyond borders. It promotes peace and solidarity within families and between generations.
It encourages reconciliation and good neighbourliness.
Its values echo those that we together promote at the United Nations every day and everywhere.
The beginning of a new year brings with it a sense of fresh possibilities.
It gives us a chance to renew our commitment to peace, sustainable development and human rights.
It is an opportunity to renew our pledge to human dignity and our promise to leave no one behind.
It is an occasion to strengthen our new resolve to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
Nowruz reminds us of what we have in common and the richness of our diversity.
I wish all of you a prosperous, happy, healthy and peaceful Nowruz.
And may its spirit of friendship, harmony and respect for nature serve as an inspiration to us all.