The Sixteenth Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) was held in Doha, Qatar on 1 May 2019. The Ministerial Meeting was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting on 30 April 2019. A one day business forum was also organized by the Ministry of Commerce following the Ministerial Meeting.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani chaired the Meeting. Ministers from nineteen member states and high level representatives from fourteen countries participated in the meeting. Bhutan’s delegation to the meeting was led by Ambassador of Bhutan to Kuwait, Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor. The Ministerial Meeting was held under the theme “Partners in Progress.”
In his Statement at the meeting, Ambassador reaffirmed Bhutan’s commitment to the shared goals and aspirations of ACD. He said that the theme of the meeting is most timely and appropriate and that we must build momentum and leverage our growing wealth to transform not only our region but ultimately contribute towards global partnerships and usher in a new era of international peace, prosperity and security. He also applauded the efforts by the Prime Movers and Co-prime Movers to further the action plans under the 6 respective Priority Pillars.
The Doha Declaration was adopted at the end of the Sixteenth Ministerial Meeting. Major outcome of the meeting include the consideration of the establishment of a High-Level Working Group to study ways and means for implementation of pan Asian cooperation and the convening of the open-ended High-Level Working Group (HLWG) to define the Secretariat’s operations, including mechanism for selection of the Secretary General.
The Meeting also witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Agreement on ACD-MBA between six participating universities from Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The purpose of the MoA was to establish understanding for the implementation of Asian Credit Transfer System by using ACD MBA as a case study within the ACD University Network.
The Ministerial Meeting welcomed the request from Palestine to become a member of ACD.
The Asian Cooperation Dialogue was established in 2001 and has 34 member countries. Bhutan joined the ACD in 2004.