Bhutan commemorates the UN Day
UN enables ‘a small Bhutan’ to make ‘global impacts’ said the National Assembly Speaker Tshogpen Jigme Zangpo while addressing the representatives of the United Nations and other international agencies to commemorate the 70 years of United Nations in Thimphu yesterday. The UN day was observed with the lighting of 1000 butter lamps at the Tashichho Dzong followed by prayers for world peace and prosperity. October 24 has been celebrated internationally as United Nations Day since 1948.
The Speaker applauded the UN for having worked towards global peace and security in keeping with its mandate. He added that the UN has established the sovereign equality of nations, irrespective of size, wealth or power. “These successes also demonstrate why Bhutan, as a small, least developed and land-locked country is convinced that the UN and multilateralism remain so indispensable”, he said.
Christina Carlson, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Bhutan depicted how Bhutan has been playing a global role as a member state of the UN. To this, she said that Bhutanese civil servants were representing important international fora and UN programmes in the country while also working towards humanitarian support in other countries in need by contributing to UN Peacekeeping Missions.
She said that it was impressive that smaller countries like Bhutan could have global impacts quoting former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali as saying, “Small states can play large constructive roles and the record of the UN proves that political will and imagination can make more fruitful contributions to peace than military power or economic power.”
Ms. Carlson highlighted a shared vision expressed by former minister, Om Pradhan in 1980, at the General assembly that was woven around the need to reduce expenditure on armaments and channeling it to remove hunger and poverty.
The Resident Coordinator also informed the gathering about Bhutan becoming one of the priority countries for the recently endorsed Sustainable Development Goals, “With the hope that Bhutan’s success will provide an example for others.” Graced by the speaker, the participants then light a thousand butter lamps as the central monk body offered prayers to mark the event. The ceremony, the speaker said, was symbolic of renewed commitment to support, appreciate and further reaffirm the theme, “Strong UN, Better World.” Meanwhile, after lighting the butter lamps, UN Bhutan Staff Association organized a blood donation campaign at the UN House for the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital blood bank.
In commemoration, the United Nations organized the “Turn the World UN Blue” campaign which aims to light up selected landmarks around the world in the UN color blue on the UN Day. As a part of the campaign, the National Memorial Chorten, built in the memory of His Majesty Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck , and a key land mark of Thimphu will be illuminate in blue.