This will be the first time the royal couple have visited Bhutan
Country nestles high in the Himalayas between India and China
Kate and William, both 33, will visit King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
His pregnant wife Jetsun Pema, 25, is due to give birth in Spring
Bhutan is a Buddhist country that measures wealth on happiness
Prince Charles and Prince Andrew have both visited country previously
She is known as the Dragon Queen and the most glamorous woman in the Orient.
He has been dubbed The Prince Charming of the Himalayas, a ruler with the populist touch who is known to invite his subjects into his home for tea and a chat.
And this spring the young King and Queen of Bhutan, dubbed the ‘William and Kate of the Orient’, will host the real Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on an official visit on behalf of the British Government.
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
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
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
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!
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.
What’s behind all those phallus pictures in this remote Himalayan land?
January 4, 2011 By Iva Skoch
Editor’s note: Wanderlust is a regular GlobalPost series on global sex and relationship issues written by Iva Skoch, who is now traveling the world writing a book on the subject.
THIMPHU, Bhutan — Most of the penises painted on houses or suspended from rooftops in Bhutan are larger than humans.
They come in various sizes, color schemes and embellishments. Some have ribbons tied around them like jovial holiday presents. Others are coiled by daunting dragons. A few even have eyes. They typically feature hairy testicles, from the neatly trimmed to full-on Yeti-style. And, of course, all are fully erect.
“Oh, golly,” said an elderly woman visiting from Seattle, when she stepped off the bus in the Punakha valley and found herself surrounded by an alarming concentration of penis imagery, set against a magnificent Himalayan backdrop.
She was one of just 30,000 “outsiders” in 2010 who visited this isolated country wedged between China and India. While Bhutan tops many travel wish lists — thanks to its almost utopic reputation as “the last Shangri La” and a place where the government measures success in “Gross National Happiness” instead of gross domestic product — only a fraction can afford such a trip. Continue reading Wanderlust travel: Penis worship in Bhutan
April 30, 2011; By JOHN TIERNEY: SOMERVILLE, Mass. — When they filled out the city’s census forms this spring, the people of Somerville got a new question. On a scale of 1 to 10, they were asked, “How happy do you feel right now?”
Officials here want this Boston suburb to become the first city in the United States to systematically track people’s happiness. Like leaders in Britain, France and a few other places, they want to move beyond the traditional measures of success — economic growth — to promote policies that produce more than just material well-being.
Monitoring the citizenry’s happiness has been advocated by prominent psychologists and economists, but not without debate over how to do it and whether happiness is even the right thing for politicians to be promoting. The pursuit of happiness may be an inalienable right, but that is not the same as reporting blissful feelings on a questionnaire. Continue reading How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know
31st Dec. 2010: In the early 1970s, the tiny nation of Bhutan stopped focusing on gross domestic product, or GDP. This wasn’t because the country was trying to hide its economic progress. It was because King Jigme Singye Wangchuck thought GDP measured the wrong things.
“Why are we so obsessed and focused with gross domestic product?” he asked a journalist inquiring about the country’s economy. “Why don’t we care more about gross national happiness?”
Courtesy: Blog of the Leader of the Opposition http://www.tsheringtobgay.com
March 04, 2010: Chhophyel, commenting on my previous post: “OL, I am glad that McKinsey’s proposal to liberalize tourist tariff is finally out the window.”
McKinsey and Company is charging the government 9.1 million dollars in consulting fees. Add to that travel, living, per diem and other expenses, and the final tab, by some estimates, could exceed 14 million dollars! That’s a lot of money.
Bhutan’s much lauded tourism policy, is not anymore “high value, low volume.” It’s now “high value, low impact.”
The “low impact” on culture and environment as the tourism council of Bhutan (TCB) calls,” has come at a time when the government has committed to increase the “volume” of tourists visiting Bhutan. In the next two years, it aims to bring in 100,000 tourists, which is about one-sixth of the country’s population.
For more than three decades, the policy of “low volume” has regulated tourist arrivals in the country. With that, it minimised the “impact” and brought in a “manageable” number that its limited infrastructure could support. Bhutan otherwise has no restriction on the number of tourists visiting. Continue reading Low volume is now low impact-But value stays high