The Second Annual Conference on Gross National Happiness The Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness
Local Pathways to Global Wellbeing
St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
June 20 to June 24, 2005
  Media Advisory
For Immediate Release June 20, 2005, Antigonish

What Does Gross National Happiness Mean? On Tuesday, June 21st at 9:00 AM, Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley, Home Minister and former Prime Minister of Bhutan will explain Bhutan's unique Gross National Happiness development path to more than 450 delegates from 32 countries and six continents, including some of the world's leading practitioners of socially and environmentally responsible development. The address will take place in the MacKay Room, Bloomfield Centre, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

In 1972, The King of Bhutan proclaimed that "Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product." Since then, Bhutan has pursued a development path that seeks to balance equitable and sustainable economic development with environmental and cultural preservation and good governance.

Bhutan recently received the United Nations Environment Program's Champion of the Earth award for placing the environment at the centre of all its development policies, for its "excellent environmental track record," and for preserving more than 72% of its land under forest cover, with 26% designated as protected areas.

The 2nd International Conference on Gross National Happiness, Rethinking Development: Local Pathways to Global Wellbeing is now under way in Antigonish and will continue until June 24th. The first international conference on this subject took place in Bhutan last year. Mr. Thinley leads a high-ranking delegation of 21 from Bhutan, including the country's Ambassador to Canada and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Mr. Thinley's talk will be the opening keynote address for this year's conference.

Please see for a full list of conference presenters. For more information, and to arrange media interviews with Mr. Thinley, please contact:

Olga Gladkikh, (902) 867-5131


Conference Director, Ronald Colman, 902-489-7007


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