U.N. Happiness Conference in NYC April 02, 2012: Agenda

REALISING THE WORLD WE ALL WANT: LAUNCH EVENT

HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON WELLBEING AND HAPPINESS: DEFINING A NEW ECONOMIC PARADIGM

Hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan, 2nd April 2012, Conference Room 1 (North Lawn Building), United Nations Headquarters, New York City

DRAFT AGENDA

Saturday, 31st March & Sunday, 1st April 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Registration at the Permanent Mission of Bhutan, 343 East 43rd Street, New York

Monday, 2nd April 8 – 8.40 a.m. – Security Check at the UN Visitor’s Gate (First Avenue, 45 – 46 Street) and

Registration 8 – 8.40 a.m. – Registration at Conference Room 1 for delegates of Member States

8.50 a.m. – All participants to be seated in Conference Room 1

9 –10.00 a.m. – Inaugural Session Chair: H.E. Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme and the Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

9.00 – 9.03 a.m. – Welcome address by H.E. Helen Clark                                                                                                                                       9.03 – 9.09 a.m. – Address by H.E. Mr. Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan (On the mission and purpose of the meeting) 9.09 – 9.12 a.m. – Inaugural address by H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations                                         9.12 – 9.15 a.m. – Address by H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly 9.15 – 9.18 a.m. – Address by H.E. Mr. Miloš Koterec, President of the Economic and Social Council                                                   9.18 – 9.28 a.m. – Keynote address by H.E. Ms. Laura Chinchilla, Honourable President of the Republic of Costa Rica (The Republic of Costa Rica is universally recognised for its outstanding achievements in environmental conservation and its exemplary sustainable development record) …For more refer www.2apr.gov.bt

Bhutan to host the U.N. Happiness Conference April 2-5, 2012 in NYC

The U.N. Happiness Project By TIMOTHY W. RYBACK* (NY Times)

March 28, 2012 : Next Monday, the United Nations will implement Resolution 65/309, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in July 2011, placing “happiness” on the global agenda. “Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal” and “recognizing that the gross domestic product […] does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people,” Resolution 65/309 empowers the Kingdom of Bhutan to convene a high-level meeting on happiness as part of next week’s 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. An impressive array of luminaries will be speaking for this remote Himalayan kingdom. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will open the meeting via a prerecorded video missive. The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will speak on “happiness indicators,” as will the economist Jeffrey Sachs. The Bhutanese prime minister will represent King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, the reigning Dragon King of the Bhutanese House of Wangchuck. (The kingdom became a constitutional monarchy in 2007.) For the 32-year-old Dragon King — Bhutan means “land of dragons” in the local Dzongkha language — U.N. Resolution 65/309 represents a global public relations triumph and the realization of a hereditary ambition, initiated by his grandfather 40 years ago, to establish Gross National Happiness (G.N.H.) as an alternate model to Gross National Product (G.N.P.) as a measure of national progress. Continue reading Bhutan to host the U.N. Happiness Conference April 2-5, 2012 in NYC

The elusive Snow Leopard caught on camera

Courtesy:  The Ministry of Agriculture & Forests, Bhutan , WWF and Kuensel newspaper

The elusive Snow Leopard caught on camera (You tube video)

Snow leopards disappearing?

The cats’ coming into conflict with humans is the main threat to its population in Bhutan
A preliminary snow leopard prey survey conducted recently at the Wangchuck Centennial Park using camera traps revealed several footages of snow leopards and its prey.Watch another video
The study, worth Nu 2M, World Wildlife Fund officials said would focus on the snow leopard population and their places of existence to help prioritise the best areas for conservation. Continue reading The elusive Snow Leopard caught on camera

Featured Web/Blog: Introduction to Bhutan – Unbelievable Photographs!

Bhutan.  This little-known Himalayan kingdom, nestled between the giants of India and China, is the world’s last remaining Shangri-La.  This is an extraordinary country, unlike any on Earth, where traffic lights do not exist, buying cigarettes is illegal, the wrestling channel and MTV are banned, as well as Western-style billboards and plastic bags, and Gross National Happiness has been deemed more important than Gross National Product.  While neighboring countries have catapulted themselves into the modern world and embraced tourism with such ferocity that their cultures have been both compromised and neglected, Bhutan has recognized that the only way to move forward and ensure both its survival and sovereignty is to protect the unique culture and environment that makes the country so special.

Up until 1960, Bhutan had been visited by only a handful of early British explorers and during the decade that followed the few foreigners permitted into the country were guests of the royal family.  It was not until the coronation of the fourth king in 1974 that a hotel was built and the first group of paying tourists arrived, organized and led by Lars Eric Lindbald (founder of Linbald Travel) who encouraged the government to limit tourism and to charge high fees.  This set the standard by which tourism would evolve in Bhutan and small groups began to enter the country, permitted only to visit the dzongs and goempas in Paro and Thimpu. Continue reading Featured Web/Blog: Introduction to Bhutan – Unbelievable Photographs!

Bhutanese royal wedding to be held in October 2011

Source: BBC 20 may 2011: The 31-year-old king of the Himalayan nation of Bhutan has said that he intends to marry in October, local media report.

The British-educated Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said his future wife, 20-year-old student Jetsun Pema, would be a “great servant to the nation”.

_52856287_012025572-1.jpg

Wangchuck is widely revered in the country of some 700,000 people.

The king took over after the abdication in 2006 of his father, who began the country’s democratic transition. Continue reading Bhutanese royal wedding to be held in October 2011

Bhutan’s 31-year-old king to marry in October 2011

Friday, 20th May, 2011: This morning, I attended the opening of the 7th session of the Parliament and to everyones’ surprise (a pleasant one), His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, possessing a warm smile, announced his wedding with Jetsun Pema. I almost clapped. The royal wedding is to be held in October this year. It is a joyous day in Bhutan. A welcome news indeed!

 

Bhutan-King-and-Queen-Jigme-Khesar-and-Jetsun-Pema.jpg

Courtesy: http://www.facebook.com/KingJigmeKhesar

 

Her-Majesty-the-Queen-Ashi-Jetsun-Pema.jpg

Ashi Jetsun Pema (Pic source: Bhutan Observer)

Fri May 20, by Adam Plowright (AFP)

NEW DELHI (AFP) – The 31-year-old king of Bhutan, an Oxford-educated bachelor crowned in the remote Himalayan country in 2008, set up another royal wedding on Friday by announcing his engagement.

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who helped usher in democracy in the Buddhist nation, revealed his intention to marry 20-year-old student Jetsun Pema during an address to parliament.

“As king, it is now time for me to marry. After much thought I have decided that the wedding shall be later this year,” he announced, according to a copy of the speech sent to AFP.

“While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character,” he said of the future queen, who appeared in traditional Bhutanese dress in a joint picture released of the couple.

The announcement clears the way for another wedding in a year of royal nuptials that has already seen Britain’s Prince William marry Kate Middleton in London in an event that captured the world’s attention. Continue reading Bhutan’s 31-year-old king to marry in October 2011

Is happiness overrated? A New Gauge to See What’s Beyond Happiness

MAY 16, 2011 By JOHN TIERNEY

Martin Seligman now thinks so, which may seem like an odd position for the founder of the positive psychology movement. As president of the American Pyschological Association in the late 1990s, he criticized his colleagues for focusing relentlessly on mental illness and other problems. He prodded them to study life’s joys, and wrote a best seller in 2002 titled “Authentic Happiness.”

But now he regrets that title. As the investigation of happiness proceeded, Dr. Seligman began seeing certain limitations of the concept. Why did couples go on having children even though the data clearly showed that parents are less happy than childless couples? Why did billionaires desperately seek more money even when there was nothing they wanted to do with it?

And why did some people keep joylessly playing bridge? Dr. Seligman, an avid player himself, kept noticing them at tournaments. They never smiled, not even when they won. They didn’t play to make money or make friends. Continue reading Is happiness overrated? A New Gauge to See What’s Beyond Happiness

Getting Smart on Aid

May 18, 2011 By 

One cost of the uproar over Greg Mortenson, and the allegations that he fictionalized his school-building story in the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea,” is likely to be cynicism about whether aid makes a difference.

But there are also deeper questions about how best to make an impact — even about how to do something as simple as get more kids in school. Mortenson and a number of other education organizations mostly build schools. That seems pretty straightforward. If we want to get more kids in school around the world, what could make more sense than building schools?

How about deworming kids?

But, first, a digression: a paean to economists.

When I was in college, I majored in political science. But if I were going through college today, I’d major in economics. It possesses a rigor that other fields in the social sciences don’t — and often greater relevance as well. That’s why economists are shaping national debates about everything from health care to poverty, while political scientists often seem increasingly theoretical and irrelevant. Continue reading Getting Smart on Aid

When It Comes to Helping Others: Just Do It

May 18, 2011, 6:26 PM By RYE BARCOTT

It’s graduation season, and for the past two months I’ve been traveling to campuses in the United States on a book tour to talk about service in the Marines and social entrepreneurship in Africa. One point seems to resonate with students above all of the others. From a commuter college in the plains of Indiana to Stanford and MIT, students have been latching onto one simple sentence: be a doer.

I use this line to emphasize the larger point that you don’t have to wait to make an impact. You don’t have to wait for wealth, status, or age. This is true more so today than perhaps ever before.

Rye Barcott, co-founder of the organization Carolina for Kibera and author of
Jason ArthursRye Barcott, co-founder of the organization Carolina for Kibera and author of “It Happened on the Way to War,” exchanges a “gota,” or fist bump, with a young member of his organization. Continue reading When It Comes to Helping Others: Just Do It