Bhutanese and Nepali engagements at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly

The 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is already underway at the UN Headquarters in New York, US. Below is the list of engagements that are planned for and around the event by Bhutan and Nepal.  

Bhutan:

The Bhutanaese delegation to the current session of UNGA is led by the country’s Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering. He is also accompanied by the country’s Foreign Minister Lyonpo Dr. Tandi Dorji and other senior officials from the government. 

PM Tshering and his colleagues are scheduled to participate in several high level events and hold bilateral meetings with senior officials of the UN as well as Heads of Government of other states. Earlier on Sunday September 22nd, PM Tshering tweeted about a community event in New York where he interacted with the local Bhutanese community. 

On September 23rd, the delegation attended the High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit. At the UHC, PM Tshering noted that, “The principles of Gross National Happiness clearly state that any money spent on health is not expenditure, it is an investment.” Further, just before he spoke at the meeting, PM Tshering tweeted a picture of himself with the Indian PM Narendra Modi while the two were waiting for their respective turns to address the gathering. PM Tshering also met his Austrian and Singaporean counterparts for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the day’s events. 

The delegation is likely to attend the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) or the Sustainable Development Goals Summit on September 24th and 25th; the High Level Forum on Financing for Development on September 26th and the High Level Event on SIDS Accelerated Modalities for Action (Samoa Pathway) on September 27th. PM Tshering will also address the General Assembly on September 28th on the theme ‘Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.

Nepal:

The Nepali delegation for the 74th Session of the UNGA is being led by the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. He is also accompanied by the country’s Ambassador to the US, Dr. Arjun Kumar Karki along with the Himalayan nation’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Amrit Bahadur Rai. 

Minister Gyawali is scheduled to address the UNGA on September 30th, after chairing the Informal Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers on September 26th. He will also be attending the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the United Nations High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development. On September 23rd, he attended the Climate Action Summit along with his cabinet colleague Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister of Forests and Environment. On the same day Nepal had also co-hosted a high-level side event on “UHC in LDCs” with Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi and UN-OHRLLS.  

Other multilateral engagements for Minister Gyawali include separate ministerial meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement; G77 and China; Least Developed Countries (LDCs); Land-locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Asian Cooperation Dialogue. He will also be addressing the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Group of Friends of Mediation, and the High-level Dialogue on Peace Operations.

Following in the latest trend among South Asian leaders, Minister Gyawali will also be interacting with the Nepali diaspora community in New York on September 26th, and again in Chicago on September 29th.