Wake Up! PM Tells the World


Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, just six kilometers away from the collapsing stock markets of Wall Street, Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley called the world leaders to break away from the shackles of the powerful market forces.

“Economic wellbeing is not human wellbeing,” he told the Assembly on Friday, as heads of nations listened to a voice asking the world to cooperate and not compete.

Standing behind a marble podium bearing the UN logo as the first democratically elected prime minister of Bhutan, the small Bhutan flag pin shone in contrast to the simple black gho he wore.

“We need to wake up from our narcissistic slumber and self-indulgence,” he told the 63rd session of the Assembly.

Referring to global problems from climate change to terrorism, the prime minister said Bhutan did not look at the developments as disconnected events but as interconnected symptoms of a deeper malaise.

“We need to treat the disease beyond the symptom. And the disease, we believe, has to do with our way of life that is just not rational and sustainable.”

Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley said the main cause of the financial crisis nations faced today was the result of “living beyond our means” and of “private profiteering.”

He said people suffered from hunger not because we did not have enough food, but because of the unwillingness to share resources. Calling it “shameful inequities” the prime minister cited a New York example.

“Only yesterday, I was wondering how many tons of food and medicine must go off the shelves of Manhattan stores into the incinerator at the end of each day as they become stale,” he said, adding few developed countries fulfilled their pledge to share less than one percent of their Gross National Product with the developing countries.

Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley said the failure of human relationships was the root to poverty, hunger, instability and insecurity plaguing the world today.

“As communities die, so does the spirit of sharing, of borrowing and giving amid good neighborliness in times of need, as opposed to competing and making gains at the cost of communities, neighbor and even one’s own family,” he said.

Invoking Gross National Happiness, the prime minister suggested the leaders to conceptualize a holistic alternative for the wellbeing of the people. 

While being actively involved as a partner in the global efforts, Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley said Bhutan has pursued the philosophy of GNH guided by the fourth King from the early 1970s.

Source: Bhutantimes.bt

By Tshering Chuki Gyamtsho

Leave a Reply