PM stresses on importance of foreign relations
The Lyonchhen in his state of the nation report highlighted the significance of international events for Bhutan in view of its global reputation as a country dedicated to the principles of Gross National Happiness (GNH).
“Stemming from the adoption of the happiness resolution, Bhutan received the exceptional honor of hosting the historic ‘high level meeting on well being and happiness: defining a new economic paradigm’ at the UN head quarters, New York,” the Lyonchhen’s report stated.
Lyonchhen said this event has contributed to the advancement of human society and have immeasurably enhanced and promoted Bhutan’s stature and value to the international community.
”To have bestowed so much responsibility by the UN on a small country like Bhutan from amongst many powerful countries to lead them has never happened before in the world,” Lyonchen said in his address.
Under the second pillar of GNH he talked about the Rio+ 20 summit which took place last month. The two main themes during the event in Rio were how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and to alleviate poverty and the other was to develop and improve international coordination on sustainable development.
The PM described the conferences as a very successful one with regard to Bhutan’s participation and its effort to put the GNH philosophy in developing an alternate economic development paradigm.
However, many international media had reported that the international community is embracing the GNH philosophy just to cover up the failures of the past Rio conferences.
Lyonchhen said that the guiding principle of Bhutan’s foreign policy is to protect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while advancing it’s national interests as well.
As an isle to this, the Lyonchhen said that India remains as Bhutan’s closest ally in granting aids and helping Bhutan grow. He said the first Royal state visit to India after the royal wedding is in itself a rigid appreciation to India for its unparalleled support to Bhutan.
Bhutan established diplomatic relations with 14 countries between 2011 and 2012 and also appointed six honorary consuls in Europe and North America. The initiation of granting one-year multi-entry visas for ambassadors accredited to Bhutan along with their spouses was described as a move to promote Bhutan’s bilateral cooperation and relations with all these countries.
The introduction of a visitors program for ambassadors based in neighboring countries was meant to foster further understanding and cooperation between Bhutan and the international community. This initiative was jointly taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
The PM’s report also described the status of Bhutan’s effort to contest for a non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council.
“For a small country like Bhutan, it’s extremely difficult and challenging to contest for a single vacancy from the Asian region. But in the process, Bhutan has been able to achieve tangible benefits especially to be able to interact with many countries which would not have been possible otherwise,” said Lyonchhen in his address.