Kathmandu, August 22
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today held an interaction with former ambassadors and diplomats and other stakeholders as part of preparations for the Fourth Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation to be held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the major agenda of the summit would be setting up BIMSTEC development fund, formulation of BIMSTEC charter, and programmes to ensure peace, prosperity and sustainable development and poverty alleviation among member states. He also said that the 14 areas of BIMSTEC cooperation could be lessened.
On the occasion, foreign affairs experts and former diplomats suggested more focus on climate change, connectivity and trade promotion. Nepal assumed the chairmanship of BIMSTEC after its third summit held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in March 2014.
For the upcoming summit, all member states — Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand — have confirmed their participation.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, will chair the summit, meet leaders of BIMSTEC member states and host a luncheon in their honour on August 30, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.
The summit will review progress achieved so far in the areas of cooperation and provide guidance to the future work of the organisation. Oli will also host a dinner with cultural programme the same evening.
The leaders will witness the signing ceremony of the legal instrument of BIMSTEC and consider the August 31 draft Kathmandu Declaration.
A version of this article appears in print on August 23, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.