FM says Tenzin Lekphell nominated as SG of BIMSTEC due to seniority and capability

Tenzin Lekphell is all set to be the next Secretary General of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) after he was nominated by the government as its appointee and it was accepted by the Foreign Secretaries of the member countries.

The Foreign Ministers need to sign off on it but that is a formality.

The SG post is for three years and rotates among the seven member countries. It was Bhutan’s turn this time.

The Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji confirmed that the government had put forward Tenzin Lekphell’s name for the three-year tenure.

When asked if this was a political appointment the minister said that all countries always have a political appointee for the position.

Lyonpo said that Tenzin Lekphell was very senior and capable to the extent that if he had won from Bartsham-Shongphu he was sure to become a minister. There was also talk of him taking over as Party President at one point.

Lyonpo said he is someone whom the government trusts and he also has the capability to work closely with other BIMSTEC countries.

The minister said that there are no criteria for the SG’s job requiring the person to be a diplomat or a bureaucrat. He said that even in the past appointments like the OL getting in ICIMOD as its DG or Kinley Dorji becoming the SG of the Colombo Plan, they may have applied on their own but the Foreign Ministry also supported their candidature and lobbied, which would make a difference.

Lekphell is expected to take over from the current SG of BIMSTEC who is an Ambassador from Bangladesh M Shahidul Islam and whose next appointment is as the Ambassador of Bangladesh to USA.

Right after graduation from Sherubtse Lekphell served in the militia from 1990 to 1995 as Lieutenant Militia Officer and later served in the 2003 Operations as well for a couple of months.

He started his career in the Agriculture Ministry in 1994 as a planning officer and resigned as the Chief labour Officer in 2007 from the Labour Ministry to join politics as the PDP candidate from Bartsham-Shongphu.

From 2009 to 2017 he founded and was the CEO of the Institute of Management Studies (IMS).

In between 2011 and 2012 he helped found the DNT party with him and Dr Tandi as the two key players. From 2012 to 18 he was also the General Secretary of DNT.

He is currently the Advisor and Executive Member of the DNT and is helping his wife with some business.

BIMSTEC is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal. It was created in 1997 and constitutes of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

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