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Press Release

New York, 15 June 2012: Honourable Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y.Thinley met the United Nations Secretary General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and UNDP Administrator H.E. Ms. Helen Clark in New York. Lyonchhen was en route to Brazil leading Bhutan’s delegation at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio + 20 being held in Rio de Janeiro.

As mandated by the High Level Meeting on Well Being and Happiness, hosted by Bhutan on 2 April 2012 at the United Nations, Lyonchhen presented copies of the Report of the Meeting to the Secretary General.

Lyonchhen thanked Mr. Ban-Ki Moon for his participation at the meeting and said that the Secretary General’s patronage further elevated the profile and greatly increased its impact.

The Secretary General said he was glad to see the concept of Happiness getting wider support since the adoption of the resolution in 2011. The concept resonated with him personally and he fully agreed that the goal of all development, including that of the MDG’s was to make people happy. He said he was surprised by the huge turn out at the meeting in April and congratulated Bhutan for its success. He expressed the hope that sustainability based development would continue to gain momentum, to be broader based and embrace wellbeing and happiness as the main goal.

Lyonchhen thanked the UNDP and Ms. Clark personally for her support in making the April Meeting a great success. He said that it was with the partnership of the UNDP that GNH made its international debut in 1998 and that Bhutan would count on its continued support in the future.

Lyonchhen discussed upcoming events and institutional arrangements – in Bhutan and the UN systems to take the process forward beyond Rio and into the new post-MDGs era. The two Leaders agreed to work in close partnership and collaboration, taking into account the responsibilities entrusted to the Secretary General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons to advise on the post 2015 development framework and the Working Group to be established by Bhutan to elaborate the details of the new economy.

Lyonchhen was accompanied by the Foreign Secretary, Daw Penjo, GNH Commission Secretary Karma Tshiteem and Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations Ambassador LhatuWangchuk to both meetings.

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