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Pakistan calls for harmony as UN marks international day of Nowruz

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has underscored the need for promoting peace, international cooperation and harmony at a special ceremony marking the International Year of Nowruz held at the United Nations on Tuesday.

“At a time when intolerance, violent extremism and rising conflicts threaten the world we live in, Nowruz shines a light of hope and optimism by its message of a new beginning, of seeking peace through tolerance and promoting dialogue and reconciliation among peoples,” Ambassador Maleeh Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the event.

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also pointed out that Nowruz encourages reconciliation and good neighbourliness and that its values echo those that we together promote at the United Nations every day and everywhere.

A message from the President of the U.N. General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, was also read out. Among other speakers were the ambassadors of all the countries where Nauroz is celebrated, including Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics.

Highlighting Nowruz’s message, Ambassador Lodhi said, “For thousands of years, our people, irrespective of culture, religion and language, have come together to reaffirm and share the values of this day.

“Values of tolerance, solidarity, harmony, joy, resilience and a common aspiration for a peaceful, just and prosperous world,” she added.

Referring to Nowruz as a symbol of equality, manifested by the equal length of its day and night, the Pakistani envoy said this was the same spirit of equality on which the United Nations was founded.

“It is this Charter principle of sovereign equality that should guide our engagement here, especially at this time of challenge but also great opportunity.”

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 2009, Nowruz was inscribed on the UNESCO 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.

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