His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang was formally appointed as a United Nations Mountain Partnership Ambassador by Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General for Forestry of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) on the afternoon of May 6 at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC. The Stimson Center is one of the leading think tanks in the United States focusing on "pragmatic solutions for global security."
To celebrate this occasion, The Mountain Institute (TMI), in partnership with the Stimson Center, also hosted a discussion with His Holiness on the innovative sustainable development projects now underway in the remote Himalayan communities of India (Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh), Bhutan and Nepal. As expressed in the formal appointment, as an ambassador of The Mountain Partnership of United Nations, His Holiness will serve to "inspire goodwill toward improving the quality of life and sustaining healthy environments in the world's mountain regions.
" Furthermore, His Holiness pledged on this occasion to be not only a goodwill ambassador of "the mountain region he is most familiar with," the region where he "was born, grew up and live in," but to also give voice to the common issues and challenges faced by mountain communities on a global level.
The Mountain Partnership is a United Nations voluntary alliance of 56 governments, 13 inter-governmental organizations and 178 major groups from civil society, NGOs and the private sector. Members join forces to undertake initiatives at national, regional and international level to improve the lives of mountain peoples and protect mountain environments around the world. This historic afternoon with the presentation of gifts and khataks by His Holiness to his gracious hosts following a brief but thought-provoking Q&A session.