Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering attended the European Development Days (EDD) 2019 at the invitation of Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, on 18th and 19th June 2019 in Brussels. The EDD was instituted in 2006 by the European Union with the objective to bring together relevant global stakeholders to share ideas and experiences to inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The theme for the 2019 EDD is “Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind”.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the EDD, Lyonchhen commended the EU for bringing together international partners to address the issue of inequalities and mentioned that it is only through such international partnerships that the world can address this issue. Lyonchhen also mentioned that the top most priority for Bhutan is “Narrowing the gap” and addressing inequalities in the country.
He highlighted the successful development partnership between Bhutan and the European Union and expressed appreciation for their support and cooperation to Bhutan since the 1980s.
During the visit, the EU approved an additional funding of € 7.3 million to Bhutan for the establishment of the National Training Centre for Search and Rescue and the Water Flagship Programme. The additional funding was formalized through the signing of a document between Lyonchhen and Mr. Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), at the margins of the EDD.
The EU expressed admiration for Bhutan’s achievements in terms of socio-economic development and good governance. They assured continued EU support to Bhutan through the next EU Multi-annual Indicative Programme 2021-2027. Lyonchhen conveyed to Commissioner Nimica the Royal Government’s appreciation for the additional funds and also for their commitment to continue supporting Bhutan.
At the sidelines of the EDD, Lyonchhen also met with Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians, Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission; Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament; Mr. Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management (ECHO); Mr. Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DEVCO; as well as WHO Director General, UNFPA Executive Director, ITC Executive Director and GAVI CEO among others.
Lyonchhen will arrive in the country on 20th June 2019.