Remarks by the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Miguel Moratinos,
the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
at the Lunar New Year Gala
26 January 2024 – New York
Photos courtesy of the official X (formerly Twitter) account of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations: @Chinamission2un
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, first of all, I would like to express my warmest greetings to the Chinese people and all individuals worldwide who celebrate the Lunar New Year. I wish everyone a happy new year filled with peace, good health, and prosperity.
I would also like to express my congratulations on the successful inclusion of the Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, as a UN floating holiday during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
This is a time for celebration, and also an occasion to rekindle our hope for humanity in light of the spirit generated by the lunar new year. According to the Chinese zodiac related to the lunar calendar, this is the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon symbolizes strength, courage, and wisdom—the qualities the world needs while facing unprecedented crises.
I encourage all of us to spare no effort to continue to work together in this new year. When we work together, we can amplify our efforts in advancing the common good for humanity and addressing the multifaceted challenges ahead of us.
I thank China and the Chinese people for your commitment to the work of the United Nations, including strengthening interreligious and intercultural dialogue to promote cultural diversity, inclusive societies, and mutual respect, for which my office, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), is mandated to pursue.
Last year, I participated in the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China. We have also worked on the initiative of President Xi Jinping, “the Global Civilization Initiative”. At the same time, I have always been inspired by the Chinese concept of “天下（Tian Xia）”; in Chinese, it means everything under the sky. We made significant progress in setting objectives for collaboration in this new year.
I look forward to continuing to work closely with China as an important member of the Group of Friends of UNAOC to fulfill the noble goals through substantive collaboration.
Once again, I wish you a happy Lunar New Year.
Long Nian Da Ji. (龙年大吉)