Speech at "Water and Navruz: Two Sources of Human Life" UN Water Conference -2023

22.03.2023 12:46

His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear participants,

In these glorious days, I would like to wish you all happy holiday on the occasion of this beautiful spring holiday - International Navruz. This ancient holiday has been celebrated as the International Navruz Holiday based on the UN GA Resolution since 2010, when it was inscribed into the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Navruz is one of the ancient public holidays with a history spanning more than six thousand years. The celebration of Navruz from the earliest times to the present is considered to be an integral part of the existence and identity of Tajiks and other peoples living in the Navruz Basin. Navruz is the time of equinox, and along with the full revival of nature, it grants a person a fresh spirit and mind, inspires him/her for a happy day, abundant life, progress and creativity.

Dear friends,

According to the doctrine of Avesto ancient book, the revival of life and nature during Navruz is manifested in six elements: sky, earth, water, flora, animals and mankind.

Among them, water in particular is the source of restoration of life and its continuation, symbol of purity and prosperity, grace and blessing, and happiness.

For this reason, in ancient times, on the eve and days of Navruz, people cleaned the streams and rivers, filtered the water and stored drinking water in huge tanks, and planned agricultural and other economic activities based on the water resources.

It is pretty symbolic that the international community celebrates World Water Day on the second day of Navruz, March 22 since 1993.

Dear friends,

On this day, the United Nations draws the attention of the planet residents to a major global issue of our time - the scarcity of drinking water, and calls on decisive measures to supply the population with water and sanitation.

It is worth mentioning that this problem has become one of the paramount issues on the world development agenda today.

With this situation in mind particularly, an utmost attention is attached to water related issues in global documents adopted in recent years. The scarcity of water hinders the development of countries and peoples in all areas, including healthcare, food security, gender equality, job creation and employment, education, industry, peacebuilding initiatives and other similar fields.

We regard the United Nations resolutions on declaration of 2003 as the International Year of Freshwater, 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation, 2005-2015 as the International Decade of Action "Water for Life", and the years 2018-2028 as the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, which are issued at the proposal and initiative of Tajikistan, as important papers in the process of addressing this challenge.

Availing this opportunity, I would like to once again thank all UN member states for supporting the proposal of my country to declare 2025 as the Year of Glaciers’ Preservation, to proclaim 21st of March as the World Day of Glaciers and to establish Glacier Preservation Trust Fund.

The 2025 International Conference on the glaciers’ preservation to be hosted by Dushanbe based on the United Nations resolution, will play a significant role in the process of promoting the earlier-mentioned issues.

Esteemed guests,

I believe that the UN member states will make every effort towards the implementation of the Decade “Water for Sustainable Development” and other global goals related to water with a new energy and creative plans based on the constructive traditions and eternal values of Navruz Holiday and enhance cooperation for efficient use of water and other natural resources, as well as environmental protection.

Happy Nowruz!

I thank you for your attention.