Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bangladesh Ambassador Shahidul Islam appointed secretary general of BIMSTEC

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-08-11 17:37:52 BdST


Ambassador M Shahidul Islam is the new secretary general of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC.

Currently serving as ambassador to France, Islam was appointed to the role for a term of three years at the 15th BIMSTEC foreign ministers' meeting held in Kathmandu on Friday.

Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali led Bangladesh delegation to the meeting.

Bangladesh put forward Ambassador Islam as its candidate during a Senior Officials’ Meeting, after the term of office for Sri Lanka's Sumith Nakandala, its first secretary general, came to an end on Thursday. 

Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation at that meeting.

As the current chair of BIMSTEC, Foreign Minister of Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara headed the meeting of foreign ministers on Friday.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurated the meeting and the foreign ministers of BIMSTEC member states paid a joint call on him.

Prime Minister Deuba emphasised on the need for developing connectivity along with other areas of cooperation to unleash potentials for economic development of BIMSTEC countries.

This foreign minister level meeting of BIMSTEC was held after more than three years.

The meeting took stock of the progress made in the 14 areas of cooperation and on the outcome of the BIMSTEC Leader’s Retreat held in Goa in October 2016 on the sideline of BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are the BIMSTEC members.

The sub-regional grouping of South and South East Asian Nations has completed 20 years since its inception as BIST-EC in 1997 through Bangkok Declaration.

Bangladesh hosts its headquarters.

During the ministerial meeting, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali called upon the member states to review past performances, renew commitment and reframe strategy to transform BIMSTEC as one of the most dynamic regional organisations of the 21st Century.

He again urged member states to conclude BIMSTEC Free Trade Area negotiations for early implementation. He stressed the need to enhance cooperation in science and technology and ICT sectors, climate change, culture, tourism and ocean economy.