Spirit of Nowruz ‘more vital than ever’, Guterres says, marking International Day |

In a message commemorating the International Day of Nowruz, Secretary-General António Guterres recalled that last year, Nowruz celebration coincided with the early days of an unprecedented and devastating global pandemic. 

“This year, the Nowruz spirit is more vital than ever.” 

“Today, we can start to see light at the end of the tunnel … As the world comes together to defeat COVID-19, Nowruz serves as an inspiration to recover and rebuild in a more just and durable way, in harmony with nature”, he added. 

Nowruz, which marks the first day of spring and the renewal of nature, is celebrated by more than 300 million people all around the world and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions. 

In his message, Mr. Guterres also noted the importance of solidarity between communities and generations, highlighting that the commitment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind” is more essential than ever. 

“I offer my best wishes to everyone marking Nowruz. May this day advance happiness, health and harmony to all.” 

Promoting peace and solidarity 

In 2009, Nowruz was inscribed on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a festivity of rich diversity promoting peace and solidarity across regions and generations.  

The following year, the UN General Assembly welcomed its inclusion on the List, and recognized 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz. It also urged Member States to raise awareness about and to organize annual events in commemoration of the festivity, as appropriate. 

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