BIMSTEC Charter introduced in National Council

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC Charter was introduced in the National Council today. The Home Affairs Minister introduced the charter in the House. It was adopted by the National Assembly during the last session and was forwarded to the National Council for deliberation.

During the introduction of the Charter, the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council questioned the Home Affairs Minister about how the country has benefitted from being a member state of the organisation and the benefits the charter would bring if it is ratified.

“If the benefit is strengthening the independence of the country, this itself is far better than any other benefit. For economic development and the well-being of the people to take place, if the security itself is weak, other development cannot take place. Therefore, the biggest benefit this could bring is the strengthening of the sovereignty of the country,” said Ugyen Dorji, Minister for Home Affairs.

The BIMSTEC was established in 1997 but Bhutan became a member only in 2004.

“Our country is small which is why whatever organisation we decide to take part in, it has to be thoroughly analysed. Before joining the BIMSTEC, we analysed the benefits of becoming a member which is a good step,” added the Minister.

The Member States of BIMSTEC are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Currently, only three member states have ratified the Charter. The Charter will be effective after 30 days of signing of the ratification by all seven members.

The National Council will continue discussions on the Charter tomorrow.

Tshering Deki and Devika Pradhan

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