With Nowruz – the Persian New Year – just around the corner, and in line with the aim of strengthening friendship between nations, as well as the expansion of green space and environment protection, the Municipality of Tehran organized a tree-planting ceremony yesterday in Tehran. The occasion was held at the landmark Milad Tower – one of the tallest free-standing structures on the planet. The theme was “Tehran: Global City of Friendship”.
Among the attendees were the Honourable Mayor of Tehran, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Ms. Marzieh Afkham, Spokeswoman and Head of the Center for Public and Media Diplomacy in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over 90 ambassadors of diplomatic missions, heads of diplomatic corporations and resident representatives of international organizations in Tehran including UN heads of agencies.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator said “This event is symbolic of the effort and the energy of the Government of Iran – and the people of the city of Tehran – in recognizing the need to be green. The need to promote environmental causes. For, in the years come, here in Iran, we will witness the increased challenges of a hotter, drier climate. We will recognize the need to manage our water resources better. We will see the need to manage our energy resources – and our forests, our biodiversity, our air and our water – better. These are essential to human survival and I am so pleased to see the level of recognition being given to these important dimensions by of the Government and the people of Islamic Republic of Iran. In this respect, the United Nations is here to support and provide whatever sustenance we can to this important drive of the future.”
He added: “At this very important time at the calendar of Iran – that stretches back many thousands of years – the time of Nowruz – the United Nations and all its agencies assembled in this hall today – we would like to wish joy, peace, prosperity, friendship, commitments honoured and our reconnection with nature to the citizens of Iran – both those who are here in Iran and those who live abroad – celebrating this important spring festival. From the team of the United Nations, I would like to wish you all happy Nowruz. Nowruzetan Pirooz.”
Dr. Qalibaf with reference to Haft-Seen – traditional table of Nowruz – said “Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.” He continued, adding “Nowruz begins with tree planting. Nowruz emphasizes on saving our precious environment. It teaches us to care about our atmosphere. The message of Nowruz is a message of friendship. Your participation here today emphasizes on this message and I am happy to be among you.”
In this ceremony each of the esteemed invitees – including the majority of Ambassadors in Iran and the UN agencies – each planted a sapling in the name of their own country or organization with the objective of expanding green spaces and protecting the environment. Underlying the occasion was the celebration of Nowruz and a reconnection of humans with nature – with coexistence and with world peace.