Opposition’s Statement on Bhutan’s Foreign Policy

Tshering Topgay
UN General Assembly voted (on 18th October) to elect non-permanent members to the UN Security Council. Bhutan, along with Cambodia and South Korea, competed for a single vacancy for the Asia Pacific Group of countries.

Bhutan secured only 20 of the 192 votes cast and was eliminated in the first round of elections itself. South Korea beat Cambodia in the second round of voting, and was elected to the Security Council.

The Government has expended considerable time and resources trying to secure a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Our Mission to the UN at New York has been enlarged; Special Envoys of the Prime Minister have traveled far and wide; Ministers have traveled extensively and held bilateral meetings at the sidelines of the many multilateral conferences that they attended; and the Prime Minister himself has spent a disproportionate amount of time outside the country, campaigning for a berth in the UN Security Council. It also appears that Bhutan may have established diplomatic relations with several countries solely for the purpose of securing their vote for our Security Council candidature.

The Opposition Party has always believed that the Government’s bid for Security Council membership was ill conceived and misguided. Moreover, we believed that even if we were somehow elected to the Security Council, we would have exposed our country to more harm than to good. As a young democracy, our focus should be at home, within the country, addressing issues of national importance, rather than craving for the international limelight.

The Opposition Party, however, chose to remain silent until now as we believe that in important foreign policy matters, we must present a united front to the international community, and Bhutan’s bid to join the Security Council was this government’s most significant foreign policy initiative. With the elections having concluded, however, we would be failing in our duty, as the Opposition Party, if we did not express our concern over the current government’s misguided attempt to secure a UN Security Council seat. Our concerns do not stem from the fact that we lost the election, but from having contested for the seat in the first place.

We also feel compelled to voice our deep concern over the overall direction of Bhutan’s foreign policy under the current government. Bhutan has always followed a prudent and far-sighted foreign policy befitting a small country located in a geo-politically sensitive region. The current government’s international priorities can be described as irresponsible at best, and undermine a foreign policy that has served Bhutan well over that last century.

As such, the Opposition Party calls on the Government to reconsider its foreign policy priorities, and devote its attention and scarce resources to pressing issues within the country.

The Opposition Party also calls on the Government to provide a complete and public account of the expenses incurred to campaign for the UN Security Council seat, and to explain why so much resources were allocated to an undertaking that we had no chance of winning in the first place.



From http://tsheringtobgay.com


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  1. Even Class Ten student can give this statement

  2. Did you OL lyonpo caution Government on this prior to this election? ….. because now Bhutan lost in the competition you are raising your voice? what a shit (m sorry).

  3. What is Pinky doing in NYC? SHOPPING?

  4. N. Tshering says:

    Did the PM of Bhutan know all along that there was no way Bhutan can get the UN seat? I think he did. PM has taken Bhutan for granted.

  5. This issue should be raised prior to the election. Became worthless issue now!!! Hoping for the better government…

  6. the loss should have been foreseen from the moment the decision to contest was made. However. Vested interest in the opportunity to globe-trot in the campaigning process would have made the concerned officials overlook or ignore this. Yes, even if we did win, what would have been the benefit for a country that is struggling to meet ends at home????? Irrespective of the result, the participation itself would have done much harm to the country in giving a false impression to the world that all is well here, which is not quite true. This may mean many potential donors believing that Bhutan is ok and diverting their assistance meant for bhutan elsewhere.

    The applauses to the many GNH conferences held around the world would have made us take our feet off the ground and made us venture out to contest unrealistically.

  7. There is saying, ” heat the iron when hot”. China is hot in eating its neighbours- Bhutan, Nepal, India,and countries along south China sea. The newely emerged superpower is proving esplosively invasive. The OL does not know safety first rules. He should learn the news of daily encroaching developmental activities by china along his home town boder. He should be the first to worry about security. PM has atleast oppened the need for security in the region.