The 21st Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held virtually on 2 September 2020 preceded by the 4th Session of the BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) on 31 August 2020. Foreign Secretary Ambassador Kinga Singye led the Bhutanese delegation to the 21st Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM). The meetings were hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka as the Chair of BIMSTEC. This was the first time in BIMSTEC’s history that the SOM and BPWC were held virtually.
The meeting discussed and finalized, amongst other important matters, the BIMSTEC Charter, rationalization of sectors and sub-sectors of BIMSTEC areas of cooperation and the appointment of the next Secretary General of BIMSTEC. As the current Secretary General will end his term on 20 September 2020, prior to the 17th Ministerial Meeting, the meeting decided to formalize appointment of the next Secretary General, who will be from Bhutan, through formal correspondence among the Member States.
The 21st SOM and the 4th BPWC were held in preparation for the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit and the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting to be hosted by Sri Lanka as the Chair. The Government of Sri Lanka had earlier proposed to host the 5th BIMSTEC Summit in Colombo on 04 September 2020, preceded by the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on 03 September 2020. However, due to the prevailing situation caused by COVID-19, Sri Lanaka will propose fresh dates for the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit and 17th Ministerial Meeting.
BIMSTEC is a regional group comprising seven Member States from the Bay of Bengal Region and was established in June 1997 with the main objective of creating an enabling environment for rapid economic development and accelerating social progress. Bhutan became a member of BIMSTEC in 2004.
Department of Regional Cooperation