Prime Minister offers the GNH model to NAM countries

The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley in his key note address at the 16th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit yesterday at Tehran, Iran focused mainly on GNH as an alternative development model and Bhutan’s role in it.

The speech was the backdrop of Bhutan being chosen as the Vice-Chair for the NAM summit.

The Prime Minister said, his delegation welcomed and fully subscribes to the summit theme, “Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance”.

He said, “Capturing the essence of our Movement, it is a statement of yearning for sustained peace through inclusive international cooperation and multilateralism. It draws attention to the reality of a world in conflict, a world being destroyed by our inability and unwillingness to understand each other and to strive together for collective good. It reminds us that ours is an intelligent but visionless species struggling to survive against the rising odds that are the makings of our own genius.”

The Prime minister explained that while peace may be understood as the absence of conflict, lasting peace would be possible only when the very causes of conflict are nonexistent.

The Prime Minister said that while forces of globalization have compelled people to live together in shrinking space and time, individuals and nations conspired to stay apart.

Lyonchhen said, “Through fierce and often unfair competition for material gains, we sacrifice precious relationships that hold together the bricks of our society. .”

The Prime Minister said that the world’s current development model causes discontent, conflict and destruction of the earth’s life support system.

He said, “In consequence, natural resources are depleting fast and even water is now a very scarce commodity. What the escalating race for control of diminishing resources will yield is a chilling thought. And what happens when, very soon, there may be nothing to fight over?”

The Prime Minister pointed out that global warming is causing natural calamities, . He said, “Our financial and economic systems are falling apart and states are failing. Socially, families and communities are disintegrating.”

Lyonchhen questioned why happiness cannot be made the end of development and purpose of governance.

Lyonchhen said that there is increasing dissatisfaction with GDP focused development there is now a serious search for more comprehensive indicators that should guide development toward human wellbeing and happiness.

“My own country has been sharing its experience of having pursued Gross National Happiness (GNH), over four decades, by balancing material growth with mental and spiritual enrichment within a stable environment,” said Lyonchhen.

He explained that Bhutan in collaboration with researchers and institutions across the world continues to improve the indices used to measure the conditions that result in individual and collective happiness.

The Prime Minister reported to the session that the adoption of the resolution on happiness by the UN in 2011 led to the High Level Meeting at the UN Head Quarters in April 2012, attended by member delegations, thought leaders, scientists, leading economists and civil society.

He said these were speedily followed up by yet another UN resolution introduced by the UNGA president, declaring the arrival of spring each year, the 20th of March, as the International Day of Happiness.

These the Prime Minister said have given an impetus to the active global search for a holistic, sustainable and inclusive development process at national, sub-national and, corporate levels in many countries.

He said that in line with the UN mandate to elaborate the proposal for a new development model, the international experts group commissioned by His Majesty the King, will work closely with the UN Secretary General’s own High Level Panel on the post MDG world and the New Sustainable Development Initiative headed by professor Jeffery Sachs.

He said Bhutan will also participate actively in the efforts of the UNGA to define new goals for sustainable development.

Throwing a strong pitch for Bhutan’s UN Security Council bid he said, “It is Bhutan’s cherished dream to be able to contribute to sustained global peace and security through non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council. To this end, we seek your blessing.”

Lyonchhen said that these actions gave him reason to believe that the world, which for too long, has been changing without clarity or direction, may, at last, be guided by the universal and timeless goal of happiness.

The Prime Minister in his concluding remarks said, that the pursuit of the happiness model and public policies framed around it will end causes of conflict.


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  1. It fails to enlighten us why is JYT so incensed to promote the naive concept of GNH to the world. Take cue from the Rio Summit which has already made it moribund and a laughing stock. It may suit ‘idol worshiping’ Bhutan but to press on to get it adopted elsewhere is foolhardy.

    Bhutan should concentrate more on closing the economic gap that exist within its own tiny population. The amount of money that’s being spent on promoting GNH could be put to better use by helping citizens to fight poverty and unemployment and empowering country’s human resource towards self-sustenance skills.

    Dr David L Luechauer has written that GNH – “is dysfunctional for the people, organisations and cultures where it is practised”, unless it can vouch and display it for all to see. Besides Bhutan is too low in rank by political practices, economy, population and even cultural (Buddhism too is borrowed from Tibetan culture) standards to preach to the polity of nations and take a graceful lead.
    Its time people picked priorities not on whims buts by needs.

    • GNH is the vision of His Majesty and we and many others around the world believe in GNH, inspite of its flaws.

      So you believe in Dr. David LLeuchaer and we will believe in His Majesty.

    • While I do not totally agree with how GNH is propounded where so much needs to be done at home, I do not see anything wrong in Lyonchhen having a mention about it in the NAM Summit.. 

      While there are lot of things that need to be done to improve Bhutanese economy at the domestic level I do not find lack of any effort. The development projects are going on as planned. And GNH indices though not in full force are not a hindrance to any developmental program in our country. 

      The money that go into GNH conferences is given by different UN Agencies and I strongly believe it is specific and would not  be given to other developmental projects for which they already do fund. 

    • please do not blame GNH and PM. GNH is a development philosophy of our Kings and PM is only trying to serve our kings and people.  I cannot imagine to see people like you who never seem to learn to appreciate what our Kings and PM is doing. Nothing is perfect and so is GNH philosophy but it depends more on how we take it.  

      it is okay, Bhuddhism may be borrowed from Tibetan, so what is wrong. Buddha was not a Bhutanese but he had said Buddhism has no boundaries. Anyone can practice Buddhism, it was not meant for Tibetans alone. 

      Come to sense!

      • One Wise man says, “The very pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness in this world”. Happiness is a momentary state. It is subjective . Even hippies Pursuit as a happiness is more liberating and transcendental.

    • David Luechauer

      i understand my opinions, and I stress opinions based on our actual lived experience in Bhutan, are causing some discussion in Bhutan.  That is good for a newly developing democracy.  However, I do hope my opinions will be accurately conveyed.  To this end, I have never said nor written, as quoted above, that GNH is dysfunctional for the people, organizations and cultures where it is practiced.”  At present, I have yet to see GNH practiced and reliably/validly measured in any land.  Likewise, it is not whether I believe in GNH or not – belief is not the fundamental issue.  My primary concerns were and remain twofold as it pertains to GNH and Bhutan.   First and foremost, Bhutan should not be out promoting GNH as a model to follow when it is so patently obvious that much, Much, MUCH more work needs to be done at home in Bhutan.  Second, there is a big difference between GNH as an economic model and as a political policy to be implemented.  My fear and experience in watching the people of Bhutan is that the political pursuit of GNH is clearly getting in the way of engaging in the types of a economic activities necessary for Bhutan to emerge as a nation who is capable of standing on her own two feet..  Moreover, I have tried to point out the duplicity between the leaders of Bhutan telling the world, “our people are poor but happy,” when every newspaper and media outlet in Bhutan has stories which clearly indicate that Bhutanese society and the Bhutanese people are suffering and clearly not as happy as the leaders pretend them to be.  Indeed, the social ills are rising exceptionally fast in Bhutan – alcoholism, drug use, violence, etc.  Hence, I have been asking, “if GNH is working so well, how come Bhutanese society is decaying at such an alarming rate?”  It may or may not have anything to do with GNH, but one thing is for sure – Bhutanese leaders should be taking care of the people at home before telling the rest of the world how it ought to behave.  Thank You for letting me correct the above misquotation….. Warmest Regards,,, Dr. David L. Luechauer

  2. Who the heller are u to blame here… Dogshit!!!

  3. Who is this Dr. Shit.

    Rio was success. Happiness was adopted as UN Goal without vote…. Whether we borrow or not, culture is dynamic and we are defined by our culture.

    Even English is borrowed from other languages. What about US English? It is made of few turns and twists of Britain. Economic had grown at 8.1 percent and 32nd Fastest gr0woing economy in the world. what economic you are talking about. The economy gap in the country is also narrowing. Even 50 years ago your father was slaves in one of Shelngo’s house and today he owns house and prado that shelngo’s son doesn’t.

    UN appreciated Bhutan’s holistic development since its partnership. So what does CD talks about economic or personal problems?

    Bhutan is known to world because of GNH and foreign aids are coming because of that….

  4. CD don’t write such crap here. This paper itself writes enough crap.

    • Thwarting someone’s freedom of speech, in this case thoughts and views, doesn’t in anyways contribute to GNH, Doley. I was smitten by the ‘JYT version of GNH’ long before but sadly the reality isn’t what we’ll pronounce.
      It’s good that we could convince UN to include GNH in its MDG and Bhutanese are elated, but are we all? Maybe it’s only you, I and the rest few but what about the ones who toil hard under the blazing sun and still remains poor. How much of a difference will it make to them? My views are fast aligning now towards the sect of people who perceive GNH (JYT version) as a lie, remember WHEN A PERSONS WORDS DON’T MATCH THEIR ACTION EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE A LIE!
      I am proud and equally honored to be a citizen of a country where once GNH was the basis of all the development activities. But we aren’t now. Let’s make it simple, why should we worry about the world when we have loads to worry back at home. Let the UN or even the NAM realize the value of GNH by observing us, us the happy Bhutanese. Let’s first get into the act and see what really is missing at home which is depriving people of their happiness.
      Happiness for me is when people have shelter even after fire annihilates their home; happiness embraces me when I see dreams of every graduate fulfilled, happiness is when farmers get a payback for their hardship. Happiness to me at this moment, rather than abroad is PM visiting the household around the flash flood affected area in southern belt. It would soothe their sorrows and maybe ignite their hopes to carry valiantly.
      GNH my dear friend and I mean the realistic GNH should start at our doorstep. Let others see us and then be inquisitive about the happiness we share within then am certain that we don’t need umpteenth keynotes or even an ambassador to promote. Let the people be the ambassador of an enlightened philosophy envisioned by one of the greats of the era.

  5. CD
    Our PM promotes the GNH for people like you who doesn’t know how to be contented with what you have at your disposal. 

    • Is the PM content himself? How can you go preach people to be content with what they have when you clearly don’t follow it yourself. PM has taken our king’s noble GNH and turned it into another GNH (gross national hypocrisy).

      We may be in good spotlight due to GNH, but we are not seeing any result. Unemployment is rising, inflation is rising, corruption is rising, the rich poor divide is widening, crimes are increasing, ruppee is depleting, pvt sector is as it was 10 years back, etc. etc.

  6. With due respect to Hon’ble PM promoting GNH principles and with due respect to the GNH philosophy itself, Dr. Luechauer however provides us a food for thought minus some of his arrogance reflected in his article. 

    • Truth is bitter than lime and far from apocalypto. Ignorance is a great crime and fool’s weapon. It is very sad to that dr David knows Bhutan more than u. Pls support PM, I am sure u will get ur promotion for him very soon. 

      • Ms. Yangzom, though your comments do not make any sense I am inclined to reply, so that if you have any desire for learning through mistakes you’d reap a better citizen. One of the big difference between you and I is that lime taste bitter to you while it taste sour to me which is its natural quality. It therefore says that we look at things very differently. You seem to be motivated by your hatred towards Hon’ble PM while I have great respect for people like him. Just because I have respect it doesn’t mean that I justify corruptions that he is accused of, if  proven right, which is very unlikely. Yours is quite dangerous. 
        I have also maintained that I believe in media freedom and independence. I have always encouraged exposure of corruptions by media such as this paper but with ethics, facts and responsibility. Without distortions, hearsay, and vindictiveness. 
        And if there is any truth in a person, such as some points mentioned by Dr. Luechauer, I acknowledge it but your hatred won’t allow you to do that. In your eyes Hon’ble PM is a villain. I don’t know what characteristics your Hero would make but PM doesn’t fulfill them for you. 
        Except for few observations Dr. Luechauer made and experienced when he was in Bhutan, he did not totally comprehend the principles of GNH. He is therefore not in a position to make comments on GNH though some of his points are valid. 

        • So u r the master if GNH. No wonder little knowledge is too dangerous. U seems to know everything, azha passa y don’t u form Bhutan association of GNH n give lectures in school n tv. 

          • People of Bhutan really wasted the resource in schooling you. Perhaps you should disappear for good. 

          • I paid for my own education unlike u wasting donor’s pocket. As long as u r here to stay so am I. The day u vanish, I will still be here

          • Instead of worrying about my education which I paid myself, u should question about urs looks like charity. As soon as u r here i will stay. U r not pm who can order me

          • Phutsho, I paid for my own edu, u better think who paid, charity?  As long as u stay here, I will do so, u r not a pm who can order me and am not chamcha to listen to u

  7. I wonder if we are not over-marketing GNH. I don’t know if our PM has taken upon himself a personal crusade of selling the idea of GNH globally. Although I also believe that GNH is more important than GDP, that being richer does not necessarily mean you are happier and am also set store by the four pillars of GNH, I really do not see the need to sell it further any more. It is as I have heard it said by some like “tail wagging the dog”.

  8. While I have no issues with PM giving the GHN speech or promoting GNH (in fact I like it). Only, I wish he could practice it at home. At home he is busy grabbing others livelihood. I am not just talking about Galpoyshing only. There are MORE – where is RTI act ? It can bring it out all such corrupt practices. Such opportunity grabbing ceases to stop, and that gets annoying. I don’t know why other business people are staying quiet.

  9. it is a very slippery concept…….can we achieve in Bhutan with democracy and the level of corruption and the widening level of haves and haves not?. Lets’ wait and see !!!

  10. I think out PM did his best and we as a Bhutanese are lucky to have him as our PM. You go any where in the world and people respect and admire us. they like to talk with us, not because we are terrorist or racist or cheater, but because of GNH. Where we follow it or not is different issues. But out PM worked hard to market the name ” Bhutan and GNH”.
    For that i am grateful to him.

  11. NAM is no more relevant. Cold war was over long time back.

  12. The "TRUE" Bhutanese

    GNH is so much about values and value systems. It is about sharing and caring. It is about you, me, our children and their children. It is about a more sustainable and a happier world. If Bhutan has gained any popularity in the world, it is because of our beloved kings and the philosophy of GNH. Nothing else. No doubt so much remains to be done at home but all in all, I don’t see any harm in the PM promoting the concept around the world. Indeed he has gained enough global support and admiration for this. Hats off the Hon’ble PM.

    • “Sharing and caring” should be extended to common people. Right now “sharing and caring” is only happening amongst the powerful and rich.

      Who knows, the other countries might just be able to put GNH into practice before we do, and then they may laugh at us. That would be very ironic.

  13. I don’t think we need to question if GNH is practiced or not in Bhutan. It is already there. People wh are disgruntled about this noble concept will never be contented even if they are placed in US or any other developed countries. They are simply the crooks and must be doing lot of things to affect other people’s happiness and well being. GNH is right development model. Whether it can be achieved or not depends on how one views the happiness in the national cotext. The so called dr. should visit bhutan and see it and experience it. He must probably be one of those so-called Bhutanse refugees

  14. Whether you like it or not, K5 has constituted a GNH Steering Committee to further promote the GNH with PM as the Chair.

    Due to GNH Bhutan was appointed as Vice Chair of NAM which is next to UN.

    Whether NAM is relevant or not the member countries consider it as important..

    • Birla u seems to know a lot about GNH n committe r u one of the members. Seems like u r making urself heard so that they will take u in. U seems to know a lot about NAM, do u know what is the role n benefit for Bhutan in it. Do u even know how many countries and u is the head without looking at goongle n when was it formed. U seems to have problem with lot of people in this forum

  15. GNH is nothing new, achieving happiness has always been mens struggle, ultimate satisfactions and happiness is more important than GDP or GNH. Again preaching happiness is different thing and practicing is another. Our PM preaches one thing and practices another has been shown in the latest report of ACC.

  16. This paper writes enough shits while there are many who writes more. When a eminent person like JYT makes Bhutan known to the world , there are people are just talking shit for nothing and trying to pull down every inch.

  17. One Wise man says, “The very pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness in this world”. Happiness is a momentary state, bounded by the Murphy law stated as:  “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Even druggist wants to attain such state.
    Pursuit as a happiness is more liberating and transcendental. 
    “I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be ‘happy.’ I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is above all, to matter and to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all” says by a writer,  Leo Calvin Rosten.

    • But the end product is ‘happiness’, when one is useful, one gets a sense of satisfaction, when one is satisfied, one is happy.

  18. Yangzom, Better mind your own head. It is said little knowledge is dangerous. You want to teach NAM to me. Its a big Joke. I write or touch topics where am comfortable not like you where I have seen you making fool out of yourself.

    • I want to learn from u birla. U seems to be the man who knows too much. Don’t worry about my head, better take care of ur mouth

    • I want to learn from u birla. U seems to be the man who knows too much. Don’t worry about my head, better take care of ur mouthP

    • Don’t worry about my head, I wear helmet. The one who thinks other is a fool infact is claiming himself to be a fool. Little knowledge is dangerous but enough knowledge is the result of bad attitude, people vomit, and get irritated. My ear drums are burst listening to ur bullshit and big talk

  19. Dr. David.
    you poke your nose everywhere and everyone hates you. All the terrorists networks are after you. What is your problem, blaming our leaders?. You cannot do a shit in your country!

    Whatever said about our PM, he is going to be the life time Ambassador of GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH. and he will tour the globe in that capacity.

  20. Dr. David.
    you poke your nose everywhere and everyone hates you. All the terrorists networks are after you. What is your problem, blaming our leaders?. You cannot do a shit in your country!

    Whatever said about our PM, he is going to be the life time Ambassador of GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH, GNH. and he will tour the globe in that capacity and flies will get into the mouth of those who cry foul on him now.

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