Leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) are set to sign the BIMSTEC Charter at the 5th Summit that began in Sri Lankan capital city on Wednesday morning.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are joining the Summit, hosted by current BIMSTEC chair Sri Lanka in virtual mode, from Dhaka and New Delhi respectively.
BIMSTEC Convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters will be signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice or the nominated signatories of the BIMSTEC Member States.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen is leading a Bangladesh delegation at the Summit in person.
Momen said Bangladesh is committed to the security and stability of the region within the framework of BIMSTEC Convention on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime and annual Consultation Mechanism of BIMSTEC National Security Advisors Forum.
"I am happy to note that our leaders will be approving and watching the signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters at the 5th BIMSTEC Summit," he said.
The foreign minister said senior officials' meeting held on Monday recommended some important documents for consideration and onward recommendation to the Summit.
"BIMSTEC Charter is one of them which will place the organization's activities on a more structured and rule based platform," Momen said.
Memorandum of Association (MoA) on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka will be signed by Ministers of Foreign Affairs or the nominated signatories of the BIMSTEC Member States.
On the other hand, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States will be signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the nominated signatories of the BIMSTEC Member States.
Later, a declaration of the 5th BIMSTEC Summit will be adopted.
President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa formally opened the Summit by joining virtually.
He will also deliver closing remarks as the Chairman of BIMSTEC.
The Covid pandemic related challenges, and the uncertainties within the international system that all BIMSTEC members are facing, imparts greater urgency to the goal of taking BIMSTEC technical and economic cooperation to the next level, according to the Indian External Affairs Ministry.
This is expected to be the main subject of deliberations by the leaders at the Summit, it said.
The leaders are also expected to discuss the establishment of basic institutional structures and mechanisms of the group.