UN in Bhutan to observe 75th UN Day today

The United Nations in Bhutan will observe the 75th United Nations Day today at the UN House in Thimphu.

The UN marks its 75th anniversary in the middle of a global pandemic, which more than ever, reinvigorates the UN’s founding mission- to promote human dignity, protect human rights, respect international law, and save humanity from war, according to the press release from the UN in Bhutan.

A message from the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to commemorate the day, states that the world today has one common enemy: COVID-19. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the world’s fragilities. We can only address them together. The clock is ticking,” said the UN Secretary General. “We must also make peace with our planet. The climate emergency threatens life itself. We must mobilize the whole world to reach carbon neutrality — net zero emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2050.”

To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN, will launch its biggest dialogue ever, bringing people together to discuss priorities as a family, and how to build a better future for all.

As part of the UN75 initiative, UN Bhutan focused on enhancing youth development by encouraging young people to become environmental change makers. For which, UN Bhutan organized three virtual environmental roadshows titled ‘UN75 Art for Change’ with the theme ‘The Future We Want.’

The three roadshows saw about 60 school children participating from across the country. It was organized to raise awareness on several environmental issues by engaging students through art in different forms, such a theatre, painting and writing.

The roadshow took the participants on an environmental journey, helping them to visualize the future they want, according to the press release.

Karma Yangzom, a 19-year-old participant from Samtse said the roadshow helped her find the creative side to her.

“I am now aware of the importance of self-realization and it has brought me much closer to Mother Nature,” she said. “In doing so, we were part of many enriching activities.”

Bhutan will mark its 50th anniversary next year as the 128th member to the UN. The roadshow will be designed to cater to young people from all walks of life with a focus on taking the roadshow to schools in other Dzongkhags.

In a message on the occasion, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that Bhutan remains assured that the United Nations is and will continue to be instrumental in spearheading global collective action for building a better world.

“We have enjoyed being a part of UN for almost five decades. UN has not just supported us in our socio-economic programs, but also pushed us to keep pace with rest of the world, just as all good friends would do,” the Prime Minister said. “We are celebrating 75 years of journey that has given hope and support to millions of families in times of poverty, conflicts and crises. It has created a home in which countries, irrespective of size and might, have lived as one family of this beautiful planet.”

The UN launched a global consultation in January this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN. Through multiple surveys and dialogues, people from all walks of life were asked about their hopes and fears for the future and their priorities for international cooperation and for the UN in particular.

Over one million respondents were given a voice from all UN member states including about 4,000 from Bhutan.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the world faced the paradox of diminishing global cooperation against a backdrop of rising global challenges: the climate crisis and threats of nuclear weapons; changes in populations and in the digital sphere; growing geopolitical tensions and new forms and patterns of violence; and deepening inequalities with growing social unrest.

These challenges put at risk the hard-won gains of the past 75 years, in areas such as education, gender equality, health and tackling extreme poverty. But they co-exist with immense opportunities – such as those arising from new technologies and from the largest ever generation of young people.

The Resident Coordinator of UN Bhutan, Gerald Daly said the 75th anniversary is as an opportunity for the UN to listen to the people it serves and to identify their priorities and suggestions for enhanced global cooperation,

“As we commemorate 75 years of the existence of UN, we must share our hopes and fears,” said Gerald Daly. “Learn from our experiences. Spark ideas to build the future we want and the UN we need. Now is the time. Together, we need to listen. And together, we need to act.”

Staff Reporter from Thimphu