Statement by H.E.Mr.Yashar Aliyev, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Nations at the special event on the occasion of the International Day of Nowruz - 21 March 2017

H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly,

H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Distinguish colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am delighted to welcome all of you and thank you for joining us in celebrating Nowruz Holiday at the United Nations Headquarters.

We are proud of the recognition of March 21st as the International Day of Nowruz by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as well as its inclusion in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Nowruz celebration presents a good opportunity to further the noble and humanistic ideas and principles of this holiday, a point particularly reflected in the UNGA resolution.

Nowruz is the most beloved holiday in Azerbaijan and is deeply embraced in our history, literature, traditions and customs. Various ceremonies, rituals, cultural events, including folk games, culinary traditions, music and dances demonstrate deep respect of our people to its cultural and historical past as well as its strong affinity to national and spiritual values. Women play very important role during Nowruz preparations and festivities by managing ceremonies and disseminating traditional knowledge and skills to young generation.

Nowruz is not just a holiday to mark vernal equinox. It manifests the end of cold winter and the arrival of warm spring and beginning of a new year. The reawakening of nature and life brings a renewed hope for a better and abundant year.

The messages and ideas, which this ancient holiday advances, correspond to today’s universally recognized values, such as peace, reconciliation, friendship, mutual understanding, respect for cultural diversity, tolerance, intercultural dialogue and good-neighborliness. Novruz fundamentally promotes harmony with nature, proper agricultural cultivation, poverty alleviation.

All these are very much in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Nowruz by its essence and spirit is aimed at ensuring the well-being and happiness. It is not coincident that International Day of Happiness that we celebrated yesterday matches the beginning of the Nowruz Holiday.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous Nowruz.

Novruz bayraminiz mubarek!

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