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Department of Multilateral Affairs

Mandates

The Department’s mandate is to protect and promote Bhutan’s interests at intergovernmental fora and within the framework of multilateral processes, based on agreed legal norms and procedures. It provides policy advice and analysis to the Royal Government of Bhutan to enable decisions that will serve to protect Bhutan’s sovereign rights and promote national interests. It coordinates and consults RGoB agencies to formulate national positions on a broad spectrum of issues.

Divisions and their mandates

The Department consists of the following Divisions:

  1. Social and Humanitarian Division
  2. Economic Development Division
  3. Political and International Security Division

The areas of responsibilities between the three Divisions of the Department have been broadly aligned with the work of the six Committees of the UN General Assembly. Further, each Division is responsible for analyzing and providing policy recommendations on thematic issues which fall under their purview and are widely deliberated at the international and multilateral fora. The Divisions facilitate submission of periodic reporting obligations arising from membership to the UN and other international organizations.

Social and Humanitarian Division

The Division’s work is aligned to the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly. It focuses on social issues under the following thematic clusters:

  1. Human rights
  2. Humanitarian issues
  3. Social development
  4. Crime prevention and criminal justice
  5. Environment
  6. Climate change
  7. Disaster risk reduction and relief

Additionally, the Division plays an instrumental role in ensuring RGoB’s cooperation with the UN and other international organizations by facilitating periodic reporting obligations arising from its membership to these organizations. The Division also spearheads major celebrations to mark days of national and international significance such as the International Day of Happiness, UN Day, among others. 

The Division comprise of the following officers:

Name  Responsibilities Contact details
Mr. Ugyen Dorji,
Chief of Division
Head of Division md @ mfa.gov.bt
Ms. Dechen Pelmo,
Dy. Chief of Division
Human rights, trafficking, migration, social development including health and education, environment and climate change, sports, culture, crime prevention, hydromet, disaster risk reduction and relief, biodiversity, among others.
Mr. Namgyal Dorji,
Senior Desk Officer
Ms. Kinley Zam,
Assistant Desk Officer

Economic Development Division

The work of EDD is aligned to the work of the Second  Committee (Economic and Financial Committee) and focuses on global finance and economic matters which falls under the following thematic clusters:

  1. Macroeconomic policies
  2. Operational activities for development
  3. Financing for development
  4. Groups of countries in special situations
  5. Globalization and interdependence
  6. Eradication of poverty
  7. Sustainable development
  8. Information and communication technologies for development
  9. Agriculture development, food security and nutrition
  10. Human settlements and sustainable urban development

In addition to the above, EDD also looks after RGoB’s contributions to Bhutan’s membership to various multilateral organizations which is part of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Committee) and liaises with multilateral financial institutions. 

The Division comprise of the following officers:

Name  Responsibilities Contact Details
Mr. Sangye Chewang Head of Division md @ mfa.gov.bt

Mr. Gembo Tshering,
Senior Desk Officer
Economy, International trade and finance, sustainable development, human settlements, agriculture, energy, ICT (including outer space), international partnerships, groups of countries in special situations, and RGoB contributions.

Mr. Rigtsal Dorji,
Desk Officer

Political and International Security Division 

The Division is primarily responsible for managing and coordinating RGoB’s engagement in the multilateral fora on matters related to disarmament, non-proliferation and other political issues that implicate international peace and security. Intuitively this allows the Division to broadly follow and align its mandate to the work of the following two main Committees of the UN General Assembly:

  • The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Committee) covers matters related to nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, outer space (disarmament aspects), conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security, other disarmament measures and international security, and the disarmament machinery.
  • The Fourth (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) covers a variety of political issues, the major ones being ‘Decolonization’ and the ‘Middle East’. Amongst others, it also reviews UN peacekeeping operations and political missions around the world. 

In addition, the Division’s mandate also includes the following important areas:

  • Bhutan’s compliance to UN Security Council resolutions on maintenance of international peace and security including counterterrorism which are legally binding on UN Member States. 
  • Deployment of Bhutanese peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations around the world and contribute to global peace and security.
  • Intergovernmental elections which provide a means for RGoB to achieve important foreign policy objectives. 
  • International law and other legal matters concerning the UN (Sixth Committee) including fulfilling UN legal processes on treaty ratification and deposit.
  • Reform initiatives related to the UN Security Council and the UN.
  • Host country matters related to UN entities and other international organizations that have physical presence in the country.   
Name  Responsibilities Contact details
Ms. Tshoki Choden,
Chief
Head of Division md @ mfa.gov.bt
Mr. Sangay Needup,
Senior Desk Officer
Political and international security, UN Security Council, legal matters, intergovernmental elections, UN reforms, parliamentary affairs.
Mr. Japchu,
Senior Desk Officer

Support staff

Name Responsibilities  Contact details
Mr. Jigme Tshewang Senior Administrative Assistant md @ mfa.gov.bt

Ms. Sonam Lhamo
Personal Assistant to Director