Ban Ki-moon

The UN Secretary General issued a message on the occasion of Nowruz and the arrival of spring.

“On this International Day of Nowruz, I offer my best wishes to those who celebrate, and express hope that all people can use the occasion to reflect on the beauty of nature, the promise of spring and the power of culture to build peace,” Ban Ki-moon said in his message on Tuesday.

An ancient Iranian celebration of the New Year, Nowruz is celebrated, as the UN chief recognized in his message, by “many countries of Western, Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans and beyond.”

The UN chief lauded the inclusion of Nowruz on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and he praised the united efforts of “Azerbaijan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan” in revealing the “value of unity in diversity.”

The UN Secretary General celebrated Nowruz as the special annual occasion that brings diverse people together for “celebration of the larger forces that unite us.”

The UN chief’s message went on: “Nowruz does more than bring countries together; it reminds us to cherish the planet we share. By highlighting the beauty of nature and the renewal of springtime, Nowruz can inspire celebrants and onlookers alike to practice greater environmental stewardship.”

Nowruz, which was added to the UNESCO list in 2010 as an international celebration, marks the beginning of the official New Year in Iran.