New York, 22 March 2016
At the UN, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi urged the international community to reinforce its resolve to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and build a more just world.
“Our future, and the future of our coming generations, depends on it”, she added.
Speaking at an event to celebrate Nawroz, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative said that while Nawroz marks the advent of spring, “a celebration of the renewal of life”, it is also a moment to pause and reflect on what has gone before and envision a brighter future with hope and optimism.
This year’s celebration of Nawroz, she said, has special significance at the United Nations, as "we are embarking on a new era marked by our collective commitment to new development goals and objectives" . She said the world community had concluded a transformative development agenda last year, complemented by a successful agreement on climate change in Paris.
Ambassador Lodhi said that as Pakistan’s contribution to internationalizing Nawroz, it became a proud co-sponsor, along with 12 other member states, including Iran and Afghanistan, in efforts to preserve the culture associated with Nawroz through a General Assembly Resolution adopted in 2010.
It was then that the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz. A holiday was also added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity administered by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In Pakistan, she said, people mark the dawn of spring with the colours and rhythms of our land, which embody the energy, and spirit of local culture and tradition. A video clip, contributed by Pakistan Mission, was played at the event that showed spring festivities including Basant and was much appreciated by the audience.
She said that Nawroz symbolizes hope and reaffirmation of the values that "bind us together as one human family". “It is a celebration of harmony in diversity”, she added.
Highlighting the importance of Nawroz celebrations, the Pakistani envoy said that these were not limited by boundaries. “They stretch across many regions, connecting different religions, cultures, languages and nations to unite us all in joy and festivity”.
Nawroz, she said was a reminder that the international community have a shared future and common destiny and that we need to work together to make this world a better place.
She concluded by wishing all a happy Nawroz and by this prayer; “May this Nawroz also bring peace and justice to a world desperately in need of both”.
The UN Secretary General and President of the General Assembly also participated in the celebrations and spoke at the event.
Originating in Iran’s ancient history, Nowruz is celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide on 21 March, the day of the spring equinox, which marks the sun’s crossing of the Equator and the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.