Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering says despite many success, Bhutan still has much to do in terms of development and ensure no one is left behind as echoed in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He was speaking at the opening of the 14th Round Table Meeting (RTM) in Thimphu Tuesday.
The RTM is the highest forum for policy dialogue between the government and its development partners. It provides an opportunity for Bhutan and its development partners to discuss development priorities and how best to achieve the government’s goals.
Prime minister said Bhutan needs to strategize the 12th Five Year plan, which is dubbed as the last mile plan to help the country graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category by 2023.
“But a deeper dive into this transition is making me more worried. We really have to be strategic during this last-mile ride, because we have been consistently qualified only within the social indexes and never on the economic vulnerability front.”
He also acknowledged the achievements made with the support from the development partners.
The UN System in Bhutan remains committed to supporting the government to not only meet its GNH aspirations and achieve the SDGs but also in ensuring a smooth transition to a middle-income country.
“Bhutan’s graduation should not be an opportunity for the development partners to withdraw their support. It should instead be an opportunity to evolve our partnership with Bhutan, and change terms, level and quality of our engagement to take the partnership forward, “Achim Steiner the UNDP administrator and UN Under-Secretary-General, said.
He is in the country to co-chair the RTM with Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji.
Participants from 25 multi-lateral and 22 bilateral partnership countries are attending the three-day meeting. The meeting is held on the theme “Enhancing Happiness and Sustainable Development through Partnerships.”