37th Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers held in Nepal
At the invitation of Kamal Thapa, deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Nepal, Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the 37th Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers (COM) on 17 March 2016 in Pokhara, Nepal. The meeting was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli.
The session of the Council of Ministers was preceded by the SAARC Programming Committee on 14-15 March and the Standing Committee on 16 March 2016, which was attended by Foreign Secretary Tshering Dorji and other officials from the Foreign Ministry.
The meeting reviewed the progress that Member States have achieved in implementing the decisions of the SAARC Summit held in November 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal, which among others decided that future Summits will be held biennially.
Pakistan will host the next SAARC Summit in November this year.
The delegation of Pakistan announced that Ambassador Amjad Hussain B. Sial has been identified as the next SAARC Secretary-General. The term of office of the Secretary General is three years and Mr. Arjun Bahadur Thapa of Nepal the incumbent Secretary-General’s term will end in February 2017.
Regarding the consideration of matters relating to the establishment of SAARC Environment and Disaster Management Centre (SEDMC), the Committee recommended that the SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) will be located in New Delhi, India and Environment Centre will be merged with the existing SAARC Energy Centre (SEC) in Islamabad, Pakistan. The recommendation will provisionally apply immediately sub- ject to the confirmation by the Nineteenth SAARC Summit.
On the sidelines of the Meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers, Lyonpo Damcho Dorji met with his counterparts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
In his statement, Lyonpo Damcho Dorji urged Member States to implement the Thimphu Statement on Climate Change which gives a clear direction on the climate change.