UN need reforms to save venerable county like Bhutan: Prime Minister
“If we don’t reform the United Nations, we risk making this sacred institution irrelevant and ineffective. That would harm all nations. But small countries, vulnerable countries, countries like mine and many others, would suffer the most.” This was the statement made by Lyon- chhen Tshering Tobgay last Friday while addressing the UN summit for the adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Lyonchhen said that in its 70 years, the United Nations had worked to maintain global peace, protect human rights and uphold international law. It had led the global fight against poverty, disease and hunger. As the international community concluded the Millennium Development Goals, the peoples of the world were healthier, lived longer, and were better educated. Since as early as the 1970s, Bhutan had stressed the importance of “gross national happiness” over “gross national product”.
Focusing on happiness was a holistic approach to development that improved the well-being of people by balancing material growth with social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability. Bhutan was not only carbon neutral, but carbon negative, because more than half of the country was protected as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
To transform the world, countries must transform themselves, and he hoped
that in 70 years hence, future generations would meet at the United Nations to celebrate a more secure, prosperous and peaceful world.
Now, if we do reform the United Nations – if we make it relevant, and if we make it effective – it will continue to serve us well. And 70 years hence, our future generations will gather here, in this very hall, and they, like us, will celebrate the United Nations for making their world more secure, more peaceful and more prosperous.” Lyonchhen further added.
The world leaders em- braced a sweeping 15-year global plan of action to end poverty, reduce inequalities and protect the environment, known as the Sustainable Development Goals, at the opening of a United Nations special summit last Friday.
Titled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the agreement on a set of 17 goals and 169 targets would come into effect on 1 January 2016, replacing the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000.
“We have reached a defining moment in human history,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said prior to the unanimous adoption of the post-2015 development framework, describing it as “a promise by leaders to all people everywhere”. The Goals formed an agenda “for people and the planet”, as well as “for shared prosperity, peace and partnership”, he said. It conveyed the urgency of climate action, enshrined gender equality and respect for the rights of all, and pledged to leave “no one behind”.
“The true test of commitment to Agenda 2030 will be implementation,” he said, stressing the need for action from all States. The Agenda also required global partnership involving all stakeholders, including parliaments, local governments, civil society and academia. “No one can succeed working alone.”
Mr. Ban said the Millennium Development Goals had demonstrated the possibilities of working together. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development in July, had provided a solid funding framework. The new agenda must build on those foundations.
With the Goals taking effect in 2016, he stressed the need for starting the new era “on the right foot”, urging all governments to adopt a robust universal climate agreement in Paris in December. Recalling the creation of the United Nations 70 years ago, Mr. Ban said the Agenda would advance the goals of its visionary Charter dedicated to “We the Peoples”.
Approximately 160 Heads of State or Government and 30 ministers are attending the Summit, along with over 9,000 delegates and around 3,000 accredited journalists.
Lyonchhen address the UN Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda