Bhutan com­mem­o­rates the UN Day

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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.

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