Bhutan: Her Majesty The Queen Mother Grants Audience to UNODC South Asia Representative; Welcomes Cooperation on Crime Prevention


Thimphu, Bhutan/March 18, 2019: UNODC's South Asia Representative, Mr. Sergey Kapinos was granted an audience by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck of Bhutan in Thimphu last week.

As the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Her Majesty is well known for her relentless pro-active support of the rights of women and children.

At the meeting, Mr. Kapinos shared plans for the expansion of project activities in Bhutan. Her Majesty extended support to UNODC's efforts to address the problems of trafficking in persons, gender-based violence, drug use, and crime prevention and justice in the country.

During the discussion with Mr. Kapinos, Her Majesty also emphasized the need to expand cooperation with leading Bhutanese civil society institutions, such as RENEW--a close partner of UNODC. The Executive Director of RENEW, Ms. Tandin Wangmo also took part in the meeting.


At the invitation of the Royal Government of Bhutan, Mr. Kapinos also attended the 14th Round Table Meeting in Thimphu from 12-14 th March. Themed 'Enhancing Happiness and Sustainable Development through Partnerships', this was the first meeting between the Royal Government and its development partners for the 12th Five Year Plan.

At the 73 rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Member States endorsed Bhutan's graduation from the category of Least Developed Countries by 2023. The 12th Five Year Plan is a step in this direction and will be Bhutan's last plan as a least developed country. The plan seeks to address the last mile challenges in the nation's ongoing development efforts.

During his stay in Bhutan, Mr. Kapinos met with top officials of the government, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Labour and Human Resources, the Minister of Health, the Secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission, the Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Deputy Attorney General.

Mr. Kapinos congratulated the Ministers for assumption of their office and for forming the ruling government. Mr. Kapinos also appraised the government counterparts on the new UNODC Regional Program for South Asia (2018-2021) and highlighted key programs and interventions that UNODC offers to support the government in achieving the goals set up in the 12th Five Year Plan.

UNODC Regional Office for South Asia stands ready to deliver effective technical assistance to foster crime prevention, security, justice and health in Bhutan, and invites strong donor partnerships for sustainable impact.