Lyonchhen Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering hosted a reception on 21 September to mark the culmination of the year-long commemoration of the historic milestone of the 50th anniversary of Bhutan’s membership to the United Nations.
Lyonchhen shared some of the achievements made in past 50 years. He said, “Back in 1970s, Bhutan’s Third Five-Year Plan outlay was Nu 500 million. While today, its plan outlay has reached to Nu 330 billion.”
He highlighted major achievements in education and health in terms of literacy from 20% in 1971 to 71% now, life expectancy from 40.19 years in 1971 to 71.2 years in 2017 and transformation in transport, communication and energy sectors.
“We have come a long way, and I thank all our development partners for being with us until now,” Lyonchhen added.
Lyonchhen further added that many fear the pandemic because its impacts are immediate and visible. But many do not realize the impact of climate change that is equally devastating. Both the climate change and pandemic clearly show the need for unity, and working together by all nations in the world.
“Therefore, multilateralism is the only way forward and working together becomes even more necessary, and we will continue to be guided by His Majesty, who is our hope and future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gerald Daly, Resident Coordinator (RC) of UN Bhutan, said “We are invited to expand our ambition for the people of Bhutan, and take real action to support the most vulnerable sections of the society – because only then can we truly ensure we leave no one behind,” he added.
As the world faces the challenges of the pandemic, he said, that he is deeply moved by how Bhutan has come together in solidarity. His Majesty’s leadership inspires and encourages all Bhutanese to come together to combat COVID-19.
Just as the battle against COVID-19 cannot be won in isolation, also the climate crisis requires states to come together, through international cooperation.