His Majesty the third DrukGyalpoJigmeDorjiWangchuck expressed his view on the goals of development as making “the people prosperous and happy.” With this strong view in mind, the importance of “prosperity and happiness,” was highlighted in the King’s address on the occasion of Bhutan’s admission to the United Nations in 1971. While the emphasis is placed on both, prosperity and happiness, the latter is considered to be more significant. The fourth DrukGyalpo emphasized that for Bhutan “Gross National Happiness,” is more important than “Gross National Product.” Thus, Gross National Happiness is now being fleshed out by a wide range of professionals, scholars and agencies across the world.

The philosophy of Gross National Happiness has recently received international recognition and the UN has implemented a resolution “…recognizing that the gross domestic product […] does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people,” and that “…the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal”.

The four main pillars of Gross National Happiness are:

    1. Equitable and equal socio-economic development
    2. Preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage
    3.Conservation of environment and
    4. Good governance which are interwoven, complementary, and consistent.

These pillars embody national and local values, aesthetics, and spiritual traditions. The concept of Gross National Happiness is now being taken up the United Nations and by various other countries.