21 March 2011
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the Official Commemorative Ceremony
of “The International Day of Nowruz”
(21 March 2011 – New York)
بسم الّله الّرحمن الّرحيم
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored to express the most sincere greetings of the People and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to you, distinguished participants in the official ceremony marking the International day of Nowruz.
I feel obliged to thank the Secretary General of the United Nations for his valuable message. Undoubtedly, his personal support, and of course, those of his colleagues in the Secretariat as well as the presence and the speech by the President of the General Assembly were instrumental in convening this important event which has gathered like-minded people from a variety of geographic and ethnic backgrounds.
A few days ago, the world witnessed the extremely painful disaster caused by a strong earthquake and tsunami in Japan. On behalf of the People and Government of Iran, I wish to express my condolences for this sad event to the People and the Government of Japan.
Nowruz, the feast of Iranians and many other nations and communities, has been the most glorious spring festivity in the world since the old ages. Many historians believe such festivities existed within the primary tribes living in old Persia even before the entrance of the Aryans.
Nowruz is a beautiful story in which nature, emotions and society are interwoven into one another. Nowruz is a symbolic ritual and is the oldest celebrations honored by all people living within and outside the boundaries of the Iranian Plateau for centuries, irrespective of ethnic, racial, political and religious differences and notwithstanding the limits of time and place.
One can observe the greatness of Nowruz in many instances, from the stone carvings in the Persepolis to the arts and literatures of many nations. In fact, Nowruz has become a turning point in the culture and the civilization of a considerable part of human society through its rich deep roots and its mystic, poetic, religious and epic rituals.
Nowruz is based on monotheism and respect and love for people. That’s why Nowruz celebration covers a large geographic area of many nations. Nowruz, was first initiated in the land of Pars. During the long centuries where this land has hosted many peoples and civilizations, Nowruz has become the common language of millions of people in Asia, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the Middle East, Caucasus, the Balkans, the black sea area and many other places on earth. Today, Nowruz is celebrated by more than 300 millions throughout the world. Celebrating Nowruz in real term is the celebration for the roots, history and the values of the glorious human civilizations which have handed in the true human values throughout centuries.
Nowruz means the new day. This is an interpretation for the potentials of change, rebirth and renewal of life. Nowruz coincides with the end of winter and the beginning of spring which is the time for nature to renew life after months of lethargy. Hence, this celebration coinciding with the rebirth of nature entails a special concept. The name for this long lasting magnificent celebration and its every single detail has derived from people’s beliefs, understanding and aspirations. Incidentally, the popular roots and people’s embracing of it, is the very secret of its persistence.
Islam which is a religion of love and respect for nature, has endorsed and contributed to the richness of Nowruz based on the same concept of love for human beings and the rejuvenation of nature.
Nowadays, Nowruz is the main festivity of many Nations and a good number of UN Member States, peoples living in a vast geographical area from the Indo-China region to Iraq, Syria to the Mediterranean Sea, Russia, Ukraine, Albania and Macedonia in the heart of Europe and territories from the African and American continents. They might have their own rituals to celebrate this occasion but all along the past three thousand years, they all have called it Nowruz , a day coinciding with the beginning of spring.
Although Nowruz is an inseparable part of the common culture of an important part of the world’s geography, it has the capacity to become the ground base for in-depth cultural links and as an advocate of shared human values amongst all nations. Nowruz is one of the most beautiful manifestations of the true civilization and history of the mankind.
It is a source of jubilation to see, due to a collective effort by the countries celebrating Nowruz, this tradition became global when the United Nations General Assembly, the UNESCO and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) took note and approved utilizing its cultural and spiritual capacities.
All countries and nations, especially those in Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus and the Balkans, the Indian sub continent and the African countries, have now the opportunity not only to preserve and promote the culture and the traditions of Nowruz, but also to take further steps to introduce it to other nations around the world. Surely, this will contribute to the strengthening of peace and brotherhood all over.
Last year, The Islamic Republic of Iran, alongside with a number of other countries, took the initiative to adopt a resolution on the International Day of Nowruz in the General Assembly of the United Nation, with a view that the common celebration of Nowruz will help the evermore solidarity of the nations within the cultural boundaries of Nowruz. These efforts resulted in the adoption of the resolution A/Res/64/253 on 23 February 2010.
This year, Iran hosts for the second time, a world celebration of Nowruz with the participation of senior political officials of the countries within the cultural boundaries of Nowruz in Tehran. The Permanent Secretariat of Nowruz will be officially inaugurated on the side lines of the celebrations.
Since the preservation and promotion of the cultures and traditions of Nowruz and holding the related annual celebrations as well as dissemination of information on Nowruz heritage have specially been emphasized in the Resolution, this gathering can play a vital role in introducing the history and traditions of Nowruz to the international community while familiarizing the global public with the effects of Nowruz on the interlinks among different cultures.
Bearing in mind that these days the factor of culture is of utmost importance in the formation of the international relations and while today’s world is the arena for either interrelation with or aggression against cultures, the values of Nowruz along with the globalization of the culture of Nowruz can indeed be a common language for cultural dialog and facilitate cultural exchanges among countries resulting in the promotion of international cultural interlinks.
In addition, the international celebration of Nowruz in Tehran shall attempt to draft a Nowruz Charter to be submitted to the UNESCO.
I pray to Almighty God for your success and prosperity
Thank you very much.