Kathmandu: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stressed the need to breathe new life into the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) by pooling the strengths of resources of its member states.
Addressing virtually the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit held in hybrid mode in and from Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister stated that BIMSTEC must do its part to address the long-term economic, social, and developmental consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure that the region builds back better.
He further stated that our race to resilience must start with a green, flexible, and inclusive recovery plan. This means action on vaccines, investment in health systems, and expansion of social protection schemes together with structural reforms and quality investment in physical and human capital, he said.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the challenges facing the region and outlined the steps BIMSTEC members states must take collectively in the sectors of cooperation such as trade, investment, energy, connectivity, climate change and people-to-people contacts.
Underlining that bold climate action was needed before the climate crisis passed the point of no return, he called for making the current crisis a gateway to a greener, safer, and more sustainable Bay of Bengal region. The Prime Minister dubbed Buddhism as a strong connecting thread in the region and called for early operationalization of the Buddhist circuit connecting Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
The Summit adopted the BIMSTEC Charter following a virtual signing ceremony. The Prime Minister signed the Charter on behalf of Nepal.