Bangladesh Foreign Minister at BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat

HP News

Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, MP led Bangladesh delegation to the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat held on 17 July 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the first ever BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat.

The Retreat was attended by all the Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC Member States and the Secretary General of BIMSTEC. The Foreign Ministers had an in-depth discussion on strengthening BIMSTEC mechanism as well as exchanged views on regional and global issues of common concern. While discussing on BIMSTEC related issues, they focused on defining concept of external partners, establishing the Eminent Persons’ Group and holding of BIMSTEC Foreign Ministerial retreat on a regular basis.

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh recalled with great pleasure that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is one of the founding leaders who contributed in establishing BIMSTEC in 1996. Bangladesh supports the concept of external partnership, the establishment of Eminent Persons’ group and hosting of BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat. Bangladesh expressed interest that Bangladesh would be pleased to host the second Foreign Ministers’ Retreat. The Ministers also agreed to hold a special Foreign Ministers’ Retreat every year on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York. says press release

On regional and global issues of common concern, Bangladesh put forward the proposal of creating an emergency relief fund that may address the contingencies resulting from public health pandemic, natural disasters and humanitarian crisis. Bangladesh Foreign Minister also flagged that BIMSTEC may create institutions similar to ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre (AHA). For post pandemic economic recovery, he stressed on introduction of cross border digital payment system, early conclusion of BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, sharing best practices in nursing and tourism and recognition of university degrees etc. He also highlighted the importance of  raising common voice from BIMSTEC countries in combatting the adverse impact of climate change in global climate change negotiations.

He underscored the need of maintaining peace and stability in the BIMSTEC region for sustainability of growth and development. In this context, he called upon the BIMSTEC members for creating enabling environment that would lead to the repatriation of internally displaced Myanmar nationals currently sheltered in Bangladesh. He drew the attention of the members in taking shared position against cross border terrorism, wiping out the menace of drug and human trafficking etc. He shared views on mechanisms for energy security, food security, cyber security in the BIMSTEC region.

After the successful retreat the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers jointly called on that Thai premier H.E. Prayut Chan-o-Cha at the Government House in Bangkok. On the sideline of the Retreat, he had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from India, Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

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