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“Magtymguly Pyragy, National Poet of Turkmenistan”

7 May 2014
“Magtymguly Pyragy, National Poet of Turkmenistan”

Opening remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
“Magtymguly Pyragy, National Poet of Turkmenistan”

Palais des Nations, Library Events Room
Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 12:30

Ambassador Aydogdyev
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen:

A very warm welcome to you all for this celebration of the rich culture of Turkmenistan and the enduring power of poetry to touch people across borders and backgrounds. Thank you to Ambassador Aydogdyev and his team in the Permanent Mission for bringing us the work of Magtymguly Pyragi and the samples of the cultural heritage of Turkmenistan.

The poetry of Magtymguly Pyragi has become part of Turkmen identity and offers a unique window into the history that has shaped this country and the wider region.

More than any other literary form, poetry has the potential to distil the essence of our collective aspirations of peace and dignity for all. Whether describing deeply personal experiences or bearing witness to political and social change, poetry conveys shared sentiments and values: pride in our communities; the importance of fundamental rights for all; the need for understanding and tolerance. These are timeless messages, transcending generations and national boundaries. As such, poetry is a tool for dialogue, and I see the event today as part of this important ongoing dialogue among nations and peoples.

We also see here around us other examples of Turkmen traditions, not least the carpets that are such an integral part of the national heritage. Each one of them consists of endless knots that only together form a coherent and creative whole – a sum greater than its parts. The international community in Geneva, with its multitude of stakeholders, is also weaving a carpet – a carpet of action that promotes peace, rights and well-being for all, in all corners of the world. Each member of our community brings different expertise and knowledge, which when tied together is greater than the sum of its parts.

Thank you again to the Permanent Mission for highlighting the ability of poetry to bring people together, and our collective capacity for creating creative solutions to the problems that we are facing.

Thank you very much for being here with us today.