The Foreign Minister, Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering, will be leading the Bhutanese delegation to the 15th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that will be held in the Egyptian city of Sharm-El-Sheikh from 15th – 16th July 2009. He will be accompanied by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The theme of the 15th Summit is on International Solidarity for Peace and Development. The Summit will also discuss the current global economic and financial crisis.
NAM is an international movement, founded in 1961, representing the interests and priorities of developing countries considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It played a critical role in international relations during the Cold War era and has represented the collective voice and vision of its members whose sole objective is to secure a just, peaceful and equitable world. After the end of the Cold War, the chief issues promoted by NAM have been international action against poverty, environmental destruction, nuclear testing and drug trafficking. It currently has 118 members. The Chair of NAM rotates every three years and Egypt will take over the Chairmanship from Cuba during the 15th Summit.
Bhutan became a member of NAM in 1973. Ever since, Bhutan has taken an active role in the activities of the Movement, especially by the Permanent Mission of Bhutan in New York, which covers the regular Coordinating Bureau Meetings of NAM.
From Egypt, the Foreign Minister will proceed to New York to present Bhutan’s 7th Periodic Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women at the UN Headquarters in New York on 23rd July 2009. For the presentation of the Report, the Foreign Minister will be accompanied by officials of relevant agencies that deal with women’s issues in Bhutan.
Bhutan ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in August 1981. It presented its Initial through 6th Reports to the Committee in January 2004. As a state signatory to the Convention, Bhutan is expected to submit periodic reports to the Committee every 4 years.
Besides CEDAW, Bhutan is also a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
13 July 2009