Erad­i­ca­tion of poverty is the great­est re­gional chal­lenge

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter

The Chief Ad­vi­sor of the in­terim gov­ern­ment Chief Jus­tice Tsh­er­ing Wangchuk at­tended the 4th BIMSTEC sum­mit along­side the heads of del­e­ga­tions of other BIMSTEC coun­tries in Kath­mandu, Nepal on 30-31 Au­gust 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease from the Min­istry of for­eign af­fairs, the sum­mit this year is themed “To­wards a peace­ful, pros­per­ous and sus­tain­able Bay of Ben­gal Re­gion.”

Although the in­terim gov­ern­ment is man­dated only to carry out the rou­tine func­tions of the gov­ern­ment and not en­ti­tled to take pol­icy de­ci­sions or en­ter into any agree­ment with for­eign gov­ern­ments or or­ga­ni­za­tions, the Chief Ad­vi­sor par­tic­i­pated in the sum­mit on an ad ref­er­en­dum ba­sis to avoid fur­ther de­lay of the sum­mit. Any de­ci­sion and out­come doc­u­ments of the sum­mit will be sub­ject to en­dorse­ment by the newly elected gov­ern­ment.

Speak­ing at the sum­mit, Chief Ad­vi­sor, Ly­onpo Tsh­er­ing Wangchuk said that shared geography, his­tory, cul­ture and values pro­vide a com­pelling set­ting to work to­gether for com­mon good. He said, “Dur­ing the last two decades, our col­lec­tive ef­forts have led to pos­i­tive out­comes in po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural spheres. While all of us agree that we can and must do more, we also rec­og­nize that there is a need for more co­her­ence in our ac­tions.”

For the pros­per­ity and peace in the re­gion, the Chief Ad­vi­sor also shared few pri­or­ity ar­eas for re­gional co­op­er­a­tion such as the need to pro­mote trade in the re­gion, re­gional dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity, need to ad­dress se­cu­rity threats through di­a­logue and co­op­er­a­tion and the need of foun­da­tion for re­gional un­der­stand­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tion. The Chief Ad­vi­sor also of­fered Bhutan’s com­mit­ment to preser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment.

Prime min­is­ter of the host coun­try Nepal stressed that BIMSTEC mem­ber states should ac­cord top pri­or­ity to take the peo­ple out from the clutches of poverty and that no one should be left be­hind while ac­cel­er­at­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. He also said the re­gion has been ad­versely im­pacted by cli­mate change. He giv­ing im­por­tance to youth and chil­dren for a pros­per­ous fu­ture and re­main­ing united in de­feat­ing ter­ror­ism in all its forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions.

Heads of the Gov­ern­ment of all the seven BIMSTEC mem­ber states ad­dressed the sum­mit. Sum­mit is the high­est pol­icy mak­ing de­ci­sion mak­ing body in the BIMSTEC process which is com­prised of Head of Gov­ern­ment of mem­ber states. Three sum­mit meet­ings have been held till date in 2004, 2008 and 2014.

The lead­ers of del­e­ga­tion jointly called on the Pres­i­dent of Nepal. On the side­lines of the Sum­mit, Chief Ad­vi­sor also met with the lead­ers of Bangladesh, In­dia, Myan­mar and Nepal.

The Sum­mit wit­nessed sign­ing of Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing for Es­tab­lish­ment of Grid In­ter­con­nec­tion which will fa­cil­i­tate greater co­op­er­a­tion in en­ergy sec­tor and adopted the Fourth BIMSTEC Sum­mit Dec­la­ra­tion. The Sum­mit em­pha­sized con­nec­tiv­ity, trade and in­vest­ment, en­ergy and tourism as keys to eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion.

As per the fourth BIMSTEC sum­mit dec­la­ra­tion the sum­mit re­it­er­ates the com­mit­ment to the erad­i­ca­tion poverty in the Bay of Ben­gal Re­gion by 2030 in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment and call for ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the BIMSTEC Poverty Plan of Ac­tion and for gear­ing up ef­forts of all sec­tors to con­trib­ute to the over-arch­ing goal of poverty al­le­vi­a­tion.

In trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tions the sum­mit re­solve to estab­lish seam­less multi-modal trans­porta­tion link­ages and smooth, syn­chro­nized and sim­pli­fied tran­sit fa­cil­i­ties through the de­vel­op­ment, ex­pan­sion and mod­ern­iza­tion of high­ways, rail­ways, wa­ter­ways, sea routes, air­ways in the re­gion and di­rect our re­spec­tive au­thor­i­ties to speed up their ef­forts to con­clude the BIMSTEC Coastal Ship­ping Agree­ment and the BIMSTEC mo­tor ve­hi­cle agree­ment as early as pos­si­ble tak­ing into ac­count the spe­cial cir­cum­stances and needs of the mem­ber states.

With re­gard to ter­ror­ism and transna­tional crime, the 4th BIMETEC sum­mit de­cided that ter­ror­ism con­tin­ues to pose a se­ri­ous threat to peace and sta­bil­ity in our re­gion and reaf­firm our strong com­mit­ment to com­bat ter­ror­ism in all its forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions and agree to take ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures in this re­gard.

In en­vi­ron­ment and dis­as­ter man­age­ment, the sum­mit de­cided to en­cour­age closer co­op­er­a­tion in dis­as­ter man­age­ment through shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing early warn­ing sys­tem, adop­tion of pre­ven­tive mea­sures, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and ca­pac­ity build­ing and agree to build on the ex­ist­ing ca­pac­i­ties in the re­gion and de­cide to estab­lish an In­ter-gov­ern­men­tal ex­pert group to de­velop a plan of ac­tion to im­prove pre­pared­ness and co­or­di­na­tion for re­spond­ing to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in the Bay of Ben­gal re­gion.

In the area of cli­mate change the sum­mit re­solve to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion to pro­tect and pre­serve the en­vi­ron­ment to ad­dress, in­ter alia, the ad­verse im­pact of cli­mate change on the lives and liveli­hoods of our peo­ples.

The Bhutanese del­e­ga­tion re­turned back to the coun­try yes­ter­day af­ter the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of the 4th BIMSTEC Sum­mit.

The BIMSTEC mem­ber states are Bangladesh, Bhutan, In­dia, Myan­mar, Sri Lanka, Thai­land and Nepal.

As per the Kath­mandu dec­la­ra­tion the meet­ing re­it­er­ates the com­mit­ment to the erad­i­ca­tion poverty in the Bay of Ben­gal Re­gion by 2030

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