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Government presents BIMSTEC Charter in the House of Representatives



Kathmandu, March 1: The Charter of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has been presented in the parliament. Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud presented the document in the meeting of the House of Representatives today.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers on September 15, 2023 had taken a decision to give approval to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present the BIMSTEC Charter in the Federal Parliament, in accordance with the Chapter 4 of Nepal Treaty Act, 2047 BS.

Presenting the Charter in parliament, the Foreign Affairs Minister argued that it would be appropriate to endorse the document as its underlying objectives and principles were in line with Nepal’s foreign policy.

BIMSTEC was established in 1997 with the objective of promoting regional cooperation among the countries of South Asia and South East Asia. Nepal took the membership of this regional organisation in 2004 as per the policy of fostering economic and social development through regional cooperation.

The Fourth BIMSTEC Summit held in Kathmandu in 2018 had decided to prepare the Charter at the earliest and have it implemented. The Charter was prepared based on the discussions, suggestions and feedback from the Member States in accordance with this decision and the Heads of State or Governments of the member states signed it during the Fifth Summit held in Colombo of Sri Lanka in 2022.

According to Minister Saud, the BIMSTEC Charter has provided the policy and institutional basis for regional cooperation.

There is a provision requiring the member states to endorse the Charter after completing the internal process for its implementation, and the document comes into operation from the 30th day after receiving the submission of the endorsement of the Charter by all the member states.

Minister Saud on the occasion informed the parliament that six other BIMSTEC member states have endorsed the Charter.

Article 279 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal on Ratification of, Accession to, Acceptance or Approval of, Treaties or Agreements, states that the ratification of, accession to, acceptance or approval of, treaties or agreements to which Nepal or the Government of Nepal is to become a party shall be as provided for in the federal law.

The following Sub-Article states that any law to be made pursuant to clause (1) shall, inter alia, require that the ratification of, accession to, acceptance or approval of, treaties or agreements on (a) Peace and friendship; (b) Defence and strategic alliance; (c) Boundaries of the Nepal; and (d) Natural resources, and the distribution of their uses, shall be made by a majority of two-thirds of the total number of the then members of both Houses of the Federal Parliament.

It also states that provided that, out of the treaties or agreements referred to in sub-clauses (a) and (d), in case any treaty or agreement is of an ordinary nature, which does not affect the nation extensively, seriously or in the long term, the ratification of, accession to, acceptance or approval of, such treaty or agreement may be made by a simple majority of the members present in a meeting of the House of Representatives.

Minister for Foreign Affairs presented this proposal in the parliament pursuant to this provision of the Constitution and Clause 4 of the Treaty Act.

Deputy Speaker Indira Rana informed the meeting of the House of Representatives about the reshuffling of the members of the HoR Business Advisory Committee. She informed the House that Abdul Khan has been appointed in place of Committee member Anita Devi. #Nepal


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