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BIMSTEC discusses post-Covid cooperation next month

| Updated: August 10, 2020 22:54:53

BIMSTEC discusses post-Covid cooperation next month

The BIMSTEC is set to discuss its post-Covid-19 cooperation in Colombo, Sri Lanka, early next month.

The discussion will be virtually held at the 21st Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) comprising Foreign Secretaries of the BIMSTEC Member States on 02 September, according to a BIMSTEC press release.

It will cover BIMSTEC’s role in post-Covid-19 recovery and rehabilitation with emphasis on poverty alleviation, food security and uninterrupted economic and physical connectivity in the region.

The meeting will also finalise some important agreements and documents, including BIMSTEC Charter, envisaged to be signed or launched at the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit.

Earlier, the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit and the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting scheduled for 03-04 September in Colombo were postponed due to the prevailing situation arising from Covid-19 pandemic.

The foreign secretaries will also discuss the new time-frame and modalities of the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit and the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting.

“If physical summit appears to be difficult under the circumstances, Member States could consider the possibility of holding virtual summit within this year”, said M Shahidul Islam, secretary general of BIMSTEC.

Sri Lanka is the current chair of the seven-nation organisation comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

With the holding of the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit, the chairmanship of the organisation will go to Thailand.

The foreign secretaries are also expected to recommend a new secretary general from Bhutan to head the Dhaka-based BIMSTEC Secretariat for the next three years when the term of the current Secretary General M. Shahidul Islam, a diplomat from Bangladesh, ends on 20 September.

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