In July 2011, Bhutan introduced a daring proposition in the United Nations. Titled “Happiness: Towards a holistic approach to development”, UN Resolution 65/309 was co-sponsored by 68 countries and adopted by consensus. Following this, on April 2, 2012, the Royal Government of Bhutan hosted a High-Level Meeting (HLM) on “Wellbeing & Happiness: Towards a New Economic Paradigm” at UN Headquarters in New York. Over 800 distinguished guests including the Secretary-General of the UN attended.

At the 2nd April meeting, Bhutan was requested to convene a group of international experts to elaborate the details of a new paradigm based on human happiness and the wellbeing of all life forms as the ultimate goal, purpose and context of development.

Subsequently, on July 28, 2012, His Majesty the King of Bhutan issued a Kasho (Royal Edict) to establish a Steering Committee and an International Expert Working Group (IEWG), to frame a new development paradigm (NDP) based on Bhutan’s experience of pursuing a holistic, sustainable and inclusive development process aimed at promoting human happiness with a clear set of progress indicators.

The Steering Committee, supported by the Secretariat for the New Development Paradigm (SNDP), has since been providing overall guidance and coordination on the work of the IEWG.

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