UN need re­forms to save ven­er­a­ble county like Bhutan: Prime Min­is­ter

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Biku Gu­rung

“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

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