House of Representatives endorses BIMSTEC charter

KATHMANDU: The House of Representatives (HoR) has officially ratified the Charter of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

In today's session, the lower house of the Federal Parliament passed with a majority the proposal seeking endorsement of the BIMSTEC Charter. This proposal was presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

Responding to queries raised during the discussions on the provisions of the BIMSTEC Charter in the HoR meeting, DPM and Foreign Affairs Minister Shrestha affirmed the government's agreement with the ideas put forth by lawmakers regarding the necessity of BIMSTEC and the endorsement of its Charter.

Highlighting Nepal's active participation and positive role in various multilateral and regional organizations, Minister Shrestha emphasized Nepal's commitment to making regional organizations effective, including the United Nations Organization.

Minister Shrestha clarified that while BIMSTEC is not intended to replace SAARC, Nepal is dedicated to making SAARC more vibrant and will actively contribute to this objective as the SAARC Chair. He reiterated that all member nations, including Nepal, had signed the BIMSTEC Charter during the Fifth Summit of BIMSTEC held in 2022 in Sri Lanka.

Lawmakers participating in the discussions expressed their support for the endorsement of the BIMSTEC Charter by Nepal's parliament. They emphasized the positive aspects of BIMSTEC's Preamble, objectives, and principles, stating that they do not undermine Nepal's sovereignty.

CPN (UML) lawmaker Raghuji Panta highlighted the potential benefits Nepal could gain from BIMSTEC in technical, educational, and research fields, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing national interests.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Sita Mizar urged the government to make further efforts to capitalize on the opportunities presented by BIMSTEC.

Several lawmakers participated in the discussion on the proposal, emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation for economic prosperity, social progress, scientific advancement, peace, stability, and connectivity.

The ratification of the BIMSTEC Charter by the House of Representatives aligns with Article 279(1) of the Constitution of Nepal, which stipulates the process for ratifying treaties and agreements. The BIMSTEC Charter was tabled at the Federal Parliament for approval in accordance with Clause 4 of the Nepal Treaty Act 2027.

BIMSTEC, formed in 1997, aims to promote regional coordination on economic prosperity, social progress, scientific achievement, peace, stability, and connectivity. Its members include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, with Nepal becoming a member in 2004.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to reconvene at 11:00 am tomorrow.

Leave Comment