The Nineteenth Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting successfully concluded today. According to a press release issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting was held in an atmosphere of utmost cordiality and constructive spirit which is reflective of spirit of true regional cooperation among the foreign secretaries of the BIMSTEC Member States.
“The meeting considered the report of the Secretary General. Based on the Secretary General’s report, the meeting reviewed the progress made under differentagreed areas of cooperation under the BIMSTEC,” said spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudel in a press briefing.
“The Meeting noted the progress made so far and highlighted the need to make efforts to achieve more effective results. The meeting also thanked the Secretary General and his team at the Secretariat for the excellent works done,” said spokesperson Paudel.
The meeting considered a number of reports of various mechanisms related to, Customs cooperation, Connectivity, Technology, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, Agriculture, Poverty alleviation, Public health and matters pertaining to strengthening the Secretariat and adoption of the budget of the Secretariat.
Reports considered by the SOM today:
Trade and Investment
- Report of the First Meeting of the Working Group on Customs Cooperation held in New Delhi, India on 10-11 May 2018
Transport and Communications
- Report of the Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Working Group (BTCWG) held in Bangkok on 13-14 November 2017
- Report of the First Meeting of the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement held in New Delhi, India on 27-28 November 2017
- Report of the First meeting of the Working Group on BIMSTEC Motor vehicle Agreement held in New Delhi on 09-10 April 2018
- Report of the Fourth Meeting of the BIMSTEC Expert Group on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 21-22 November 2017
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime
- Report of the Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 28 March 2018
- Report of the Eighth Meeting of the BIMSTEC Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (JWG-CTTC) held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 13-14 August 2018
- Report of the Sixth Meeting of the BIMSTEC Expert Group on Agricultural Cooperation held in Chiang Rai, Thailand on 12-16 December 2017
- Report of the First BIMSTEC Experts Group Meeting on Poverty Alleviation (EGMPA) held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 01 November 2017
- Report of the Third Meeting of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on Poverty Alleviation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 19 December 2017
- Report of the Third BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 20 December 2017
- Report of the First Meeting of the BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine held in New Delhi, India on 24-25 October 2017.
Administrative and Financial Matters
- Report of the Special Meeting of the BIMSTEC Joint Working Group on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 05 April 2018.
- Report of the Eighth Meeting of the BIMSTEC Joint Working Group on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 10 July 2018.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL ISSUES
Consideration of the Secretariat’s revised budget for FY 2017 and estimated budget for FY 2018.
Finalization of the draft Provisional Agenda and the draft Report of the Sixteenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting.
The meeting has also discussed in length on the aspects as to how the cooperation under the BIMSTEC could be made more effective and business-like. For this, the SOM considered various measures such as:
- Exploring the possibility of establishing BIMSTEC Development Fund,
- Rationalization of areas of cooperation and identification of core prioritized areas (as would be suggested by Member States ),
- Strengthening of the Secretariat to make it capable of supporting Member States in the implementation of the decisions,
- Initiating process for evolving Charter of the BIMSTEC,
- Initiating process for working out Rules of Procedures of BIMSTEC Mechanisms.
- The Meeting also recommended for signaturethe Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnections which will be signed during the Summit.
- The MOU will pave the way for further cooperation in energy sector among the Member States in the BIMSTEC region.