The National Day of Bhutan commemorates the historic election of His Majesty Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary King of Bhutan on 17 December 1907. Since then the institution of monarchy has always been the source of reforms and progress in the country. Under the outstanding leadership of the successive monarchs, Bhutan has enjoyed unprecedented peace, prosperity and socio-economic development.
Bhutan has peacefully transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy in 2008. The advent of democracy in Bhutan defies easy comparison as it was introduced not by the will of the people nor by outside force, but by the wisdom and the tenacity of His Majesty the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
His Majesty nurtured the principles of democracy for the past three and half decades and initiated a process of decentralization since 1981 by empowering people to directly elect their representatives in the National Assembly and gradually devolving the executive power to a Council of Ministers elected by the National Assembly members. The Constitution of Bhutan was drafted by a broad-based committee and was widely deliberated and debated by the people in each of the twenty districts for a period of almost two years. The Constitution was finally adopted on 18 July, 2008 by the First Parliament of Bhutan which marked the handing over of the time-tested ideas and principles of democracy to the Bhutanese people.
His Majesty Fourth King has always been the fountain head of philosophy, concepts and policies. The development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) articulated by His Majesty has been the guiding principle of Bhutan’s development efforts for the last three and half decades. The concept of GNH gives emphasis on a holistic development path that seeks to integrate sustainable and equitable socio-economic development with environmental conservation, cultural promotion, and good governance.
With an objective to share the concept of GNH with the rest of the world, Bhutan sponsored a resolution, co-sponsored by 68 countries, titled “Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development” during the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Resolution 65/309 was adopted by consensus at the 109th Plenary Meeting on 19 July, 2011. Pursuant to this resolution, the Royal Government of Bhutan on 2 April, 2012 convened the high-level Meeting on “Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” in New York which was attended by more than 800 participants. Further, the United Nations General Assembly during the 66th Session adopted resolution no 66/281 declaring 20 March as the International Day of Happiness.
His Majesty the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the Throne in 2006 to make way for his eldest son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck who was formally crowned as the Fifth King of Bhutan in 2008.
His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck the present King won the total trust, confidence and love of his people even before his enthronement which was celebrated six years ago. It is the cherished ambition of His Majesty the King to dedicate his entire life to serve the country and people of Bhutan. This is evident from the incredible benefits gained by the people from the several socioeconomic initiatives emanated from the throne.
His Majesty the King’s commitment in providing leadership to his people to enjoy the tenets and precepts of democracy with practiced responsibility at both individual and collective level within the framework of rule of law.
His Majesty the King has also initiated specific target-oriented programs for empowering the marginalized people, providing basic needs to the underprivileged and people living with disabilities; making education and health services easily accessible; building emergency capabilities; streamlining the system to recognize the excellence and value merit; creating attainable opportunities for youth employment; securing ownership of land; alleviation of poverty and corruption.
These are only a fraction of the several welfare programs initiated by His Majesty the King. Under the guidance of such loving and caring leadership of His Majesty the King, of many development programs and projects Bhutan is embarking, the on-going constructions of the mega hydropower projects like Puna-tsangchhu I & II, Mangdechhu and Dagachu projects will be successfully completed before long. Similarly, the implementation of several other hydro projects that are in the pipeline will commence soon. These projects once completed will contribute enormous opportunities for the economic prosperity of the people of Bhutan to the height of their self-reliance. It may not take many years for the Bhutanese people to attain the economic self-reliance.
The people of Bhutan are lucky to be blessed with successive monarchs whose farsighted wisdom and intelligence enabled socioeconomic prosperity of the country towards the attainment of national self-reliance policy along with the maturity of its democracy in a steady and right direction.
The diplomatic relationship between Bhutan and Kuwait was established in 1983 and since then the two countries enjoyed close ties of friendship and understanding. Indeed, the close and regular interactions between members of our Royal families and official of our governments has served to strengthen the tremendous goodwill and understanding that exist between the two Kingdoms. The bilateral relations between Bhutan and Kuwait has matured considerably over the years with very good cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral front.
The Royal Government of Bhutan and the M.H. Alshaya Company in Kuwait has made an arrangement to employ Bhutanese youths in the M.H. Alshaya Company. The preparations are progressing well to employ 400 Bhutanese youth in M.H. Alshaya Company in 2015 to start with and this number is expected to increase gradually in the following years. The Government of Bhutan is confident that this mutually beneficial project will be successful.
On this auspicious occasion, the Embassy would like to take this opportunity to express its profound gratitude for the unstinted cooperation, support and goodwill extended to Bhutan by the Government and the friendly people of Kuwait.
The Royal Bhutanese Embassy
State of Kuwait