The annual observance of Nowruz is a wonderful opportunity for people to join together to celebrate cultural diversity, dialogue and mutual respect. It is a moment of unity and solidarity, within and among societies, that is all the more important at times of strife and division.
This year's Nowruz also takes on special meaning as the United Nations works to shape a new vision for sustainable future and adopt a meaningful universal climate agreement. These priorities for 2015 are in line with the spirit of Nowruz, which promotes harmony with nature and all peoples to foster cooperation for lasting peace.
This ancient New Year tradition coincides with the arrival of spring, giving rise to a rich array of customs, rituals and festivities, from communities in Western, Central and Southern Asia, to the Caucasus, Balkans and other regions. Nowruz is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, under UNESCO's Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
I wish joyous and peaceful celebrations to all. May the spirit of Nowruz live on throughout the year.