This week, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) honoured His Majesty The King with a Special Award of Recognition for His Majesty’s leadership in advancing human development and the wellbeing and happiness of the people of Bhutan.
The UNDP had been one of the earliest development partners of Bhutan. They have seen Bhutan transform from an agrarian society to a developing country. Now we are on the verge of graduating to a middle-income country status.
UNDP is present in almost all the member countries, especially in the poor or least developed countries. Their aim is to advance human development. Many nations have benefited from the UN system. Some have failed miserably.
The award to our King is a testament that under His Majesty The King’s leadership, Bhutan has transformed into a modern society. Under His Majesty’s leadership, the vision for Bhutan is clear. We are building a nation, notwithstanding our size that is unique, preserve our culture and traditions, protect the environment, has good governance, ensure social justice and harmony. In fact, His Majesty has been stressing on an equal and harmonious society in most of His Royal addresses.
Bhutanese are fortunate to have a leader who considers all the people as his family member. It is His Majesty The King who understands the people’s kidu the most. That is why His Majesty is always with the people. It is always His Majesty who is first at, for instance, a disaster site, consoling people or looking after the poor and the disadvantaged by providing kidu. Even as the UNDP was awarding the honour to His Majesty, His Majesty was granting citizenship kidu to about 359 people.
Human development cannot happen without a leader who understands the kidu of the people. His Majesty has championed their cause.
Under His Majesty’s leadership, Bhutan has seen three parliamentary elections. The transition was smooth and democracy is taking strong roots. We are today with the third democratically elected government.
Although our small economy is vulnerable, the fruits of cautious planning are being reaped now. This week, the government was discussing our graduation to a new status. It is an indication of progress.
The award is a great pride for Bhutanese. As we celebrate the happy news and cherish our leadership, it is also a good time to remind ourselves that in appreciating the leadership of our King, we should strive to work harder in fulfilling His Majesty’s aspirations for the country and the people.