gdp led development model no longer makes economic sense – pm
Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley will write to all the heads of states and government of the United Nations member countries to voluntarily adopt the recommendations from the UN conference on Happiness and Wellbeing, to be included in the countries’ development policies.
“We shall work together to initiate a global movement for happiness and we shall together make this movement a reality,” said the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley.
The high level meeting at the UN headquarters in New York which saw more than 600 participants including presidents, head of government, nobel laureates, academic and spiritual leaders was held on April 2.
Speaking at the conference, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley said the concept of Gross National Product should be replaced by Gross National Happiness (GNH) if mankind is to avoid its current unsustainable and self-destructive course.
The Prime Minister said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) led development model that compels boundless growth on a planet with limited resources no longer makes economic sense.
He said it is the cause of our irresponsible, immoral and self destructive actions.
“Irresponsible, because we extract, produce, consume and waste ever more, even as natural resources are rapidly depleting. Immoral and unethical because having consumed far beyond our share of natural wealth, our reckless profligacy amid unconscionable inequities comes at the cost of what belongs to generations unborn. Self destructive, because, aided by technology, we are bringing about the collapse of our ecological life support systems,” said Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley.
He said Bhutan is not a country that has attained GNH and like most developing nations, Bhutan is struggling with the challenge of fulfilling the basic needs of the Bhutanese people.
“What separates us, however, from most others is that we have made happiness the most fundamental of human needs as the goal of societal change,” he said.
The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, at the meeting said: “Bhutan has recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970’s and has famously adopted the goal of GNH over GNP”.
He said Gross National Product has long been the yardstick by which economies and politicians have been measured. Yet it fails to take into account the social and environmental costs of so called progress.
“We need a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness,” said the Secretary General.
The President of the General Assemble Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said today’s unprecedented ecological, economic and social challenges have made the achievement of happiness and wellbeing an unachievable goal for many.
“It is imperative that we build a new, creative guiding vision for sustainability and our future. One that will bring a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach that will promote sustainability, eradicate poverty and enhance well-being and happiness,” said the President.
A report on the practical policy recommendations from the conference will be submitted to the UN Secretary General and presented to participants at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June this year.