Multilateral Relations

United Nations

Bhutan was admitted as a member of the United Nations on 21st September 1971 and this could be regarded as one of the most important foreign policy initiatives taken by the Royal Government. As a small country located in a geo-politically sensitive region, Bhutan’s admission as a member of the UN reaffirmed its status as a sovereign independent country and laid the foundations for cooperation with the UN and its specialized agencies.

For Bhutan, the UN is extremely important both politically as well as economically. Politically, as an organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of its members, it provides a forum in which Bhutan can express its views and concerns on a wide range of issues on the international agenda.

Economically, the UN and its specialized agencies are an important source of financial and technical assistance to the process of socio-economic development in Bhutan. Assistance from the UN and its specialized agencies has played a vital role in the process of modernization in Bhutan since 1973. Bhutan’s Permanent Missions to the UN in New York and Geneva are the channels through which Bhutan’s foreign policy objectives vis-à-vis the UN and it subsidiary bodies and specialized agencies are implemented.

Over the years, Bhutan’s status as an active and responsible member of the UN has gained prominence through its involvement in the numerous bodies of the UN.  Bhutan has served on many important posts such as the Vice President of the UN General Assembly (New York), President of the Trade and Development Board, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, Geneva), two terms as member of the UN Commission on Human Rights (Geneva), two terms as member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC, 1993-1995), Executive Board of UNICEF and WHO, Chairman of the Third Committee during the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the UN (New York, 1995).

1) Universal Postal Union (UPU) 1969
2) United Nations 1971
3) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 1971
4) Group of 77 1971
5) United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific (ESCAP) 1972
6) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 1978
7) Asian Reinsurance Corporation (ARC) 1979
8 ) International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1981
9) World Bank 1981
10) International Development Association (IDA) 1981
11) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 1981
12) World Health Organization (WHO) 1982
13) South East Asia Regional Organization of WHO (SEARO) 1982
14) United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 1982
15) United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 1983
16) Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU) 1983
17) Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD 1985
18) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 1988
19) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 1989
20) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 1994
21) Colombo Plan 1962
22) Non-Aligned Movement 1973
23) South Asian Co-operation Environment Programme (SACEP) 1982
24) Asian Development Bank 1982
25) World Fellowship of Buddhists 1984
26) South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC) 1985
27) International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) 1985
28) International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) 1987
29) Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific 1988
30) Office International Des Epizooties (OIE) 1990
31) Asian Institute of Transport Development 1991
32) International Telecommunications Organization (INTELSAT) 1992
33) International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) 1994
34) Global Environmental Facility (GEF) 1995
35) Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA) 1996
36) Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU) 1997
37) Constitution of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) 1998
38) Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific (APHCA) (applied for membership) 2000
39) Asian Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development 2000
40) Asian Clearing Union 2000
41) Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) 2000
42) Road Engineering Association of Asia and Australasia (REAAA) 2002
43) World Road Association (PIARC) 2002
44) World Customs Organization 2002
45) International Finance Corporation 2003
46) World Meteorological Organization 2003
47) Regional Intelligence Liaison Officer (RILO) for Asia & Pacific Region 2003
48) Asia Pacific Education & Training Institute in Tourism (APETIT) 2004
49) BIMST-EC 2004
50) Association of Government Accounts Organization of Asia (AGAOA) 2004
51) Asian Cooperation Dialogue 2005
52) International Standardisation Organization (ISO)(Correspondent member) 2005
53) Asia Pacific Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) 2005
54) International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) 2005
1) International Olympic Committee 1983
2) Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) 1983
3) South Asian Sports Federation (SASF) 1983
4) International Amateur and Asian Amateur Athletic Federation 1983
5) International Archery Federation and Asian Archery Federation 1983
6) International Boxing Federation and Asian Boxing Federation 1983
7) International Basketball Federation and Asian Basketball 1983
8 ) International T.T.  Federation and Asian T.T. Federation 1983
9) International Volleyball Federation and Asian Volleyball Federation 1983
10) International Tennis Federation and Asian Tennis Federation 1985
11) World Taekwondo Federation and Asian Taekwondo Union 1985
12) Association of National Olympic Committee (ANOC) 1988
13) FESPIC Games Federation 1988
14) University Games Federation (FISU) 1988
15) Asia Pacific & Oceana Sports Assembly (APOSA) 1990
16) International Badminton Federation and Asian Badminton Fed. 1997
17) Asian Golf Union 1998
18) International Football Federation and Asian Football Confederation 2000
19) International Cricket Control Board 2001
20) Asian Cricket Control Board 2002
21) International Shooting Sports Federation and Asian Shooting Sports Federation 2002