Commemorating UN Day in Bhutan

24 Oct 2013

imageUN Staff light 1000 butter lamps to commemorate the 68th UN Day in Bhutan. Photo Sonam Tsoki Tenzin © UNDP Bhutan

United Nations Day is a chance to recognize the organization’s contributions to peace and common progress. The day is important to reflect on what has been achieved and what more can be done for a better world.

Joining the global UN community, Bhutan commemorated the 68th UN Day by making the traditional offering of lighting butter lamps. This simple action represents the illumination of wisdom and compassion for all sentient beings. The UN family in Bhutan lit a thousand butter lamps while the monastic body recited prayers for world peace and prosperity.

During her statement, UN Resident Coordinator Christina Carlson articulated, “We are proud to say that global poverty continues to decline and access to safe drinking water has been greatly expanded. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of children out of school has declined by almost half, and big gains have been made in child survival as a result of dropping child mortality rates. Accelerated actions are needed, however, for the world to achieve all the MDG targets by the year 2015.”

The UN Secretary General’s message, “We continue to show what collective action can do.  We can do even more. In a world that is more connected, we must be more united” was also reiterated during the day.

Following the official butter lamp ceremony at the Tashichhodzong, the day was also used by the UN Cares Group to advocate health awareness. With support from the Jigme Wangchuk National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) and the Royal Institute of Health Sciences a mini health camp was held for all UN staff and family members. The services included voluntary testing of HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis B, blood pressure and calculating body mass index for interested staff.

The UN Day was attended by all UN staff in Bhutan, members of the donor community and the Royal Government of Bhutan.