At Bangkok, Thailand
The 23rd Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting was convened virtually from Bangkok on 08 March 2023. As Thailand holds the current chairmanship of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the Meeting comprising Foreign Secretaries, Secretaries, and Senior Officials of Member States was chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, His Excellency Sarun Charoensuwan.
The Heads of delegation to the Meeting from each Member State briefed the Meeting on progress achieved and work that is being planned in the respective sectors and sub-sectors that they lead as per the reconstituted BIMSTEC sectors of cooperation.
The Meeting endorsed the Rules of Procedure for BIMSTEC mechanisms arising from the BIMSTEC Charter that was adopted during the 5th BIMSTEC Summit that was held virtually in Colombo on 30 March 2022. These include Rules of Procedure for the BIMSTEC core mechanisms (the Summit, Meeting of Foreign Ministers, Meeting of Senior Officials and the BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee); sectoral mechanisms; and BIMSTEC’s external relations.
Apart from reviewing the Reports of several meetings of BIMSTEC mechanisms that had taken place since the last meeting of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials held in March last year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Meeting considered and endorsed the text of the Agreement on Maritime Transport Cooperation which is expected to be signed during the sixth BIMSTEC Summit to be hosted by Thailand later this year; endorsed the Terms of Reference for the Eminent Persons Group on the future directions of BIMSTEC; and endorsed the “Bangkok Vision 2030” which is to be adopted during the sixth Summit.
The respective delegations to the Meeting were headed by: Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh; Ms. Tshoki Choden, Officiating Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Bhutan; Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) of the Ministry of External Affairs of India; Mr. U Win Zeyar Tun, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar; Mr. Bharat Raj Paudyal, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal; Ms. Aruni Wijewardane Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka; and Mr. Sarun Charoensuwan, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.