NA ratifies International Think Tank Agreement

The National Assembly ratified on Tuesday, May 23, the Multilateral Agreement For The Establishment of an International Think Tank For Landlocked Developing Countries, which was deferred earlier, with 41 members voting in favor, 2 members voted against and one member abstaining.

Ratification was deferred last week after some members requested for the report on The Almaty Programme of Action and The Vienna Programme of Action both of which are related to the International Think Tank Agreement.

The Foreign Minister Damchoe Dorji introduced the agreement in the National Assembly sessions and provided details related to the agreement.

The Multilateral Agreement was presented to relate countries for signature from 1 November 2010 until 31 October 2011. Presently nine countries have signed and seven others have ratified the agreement to establish the think tank in Mongolia, after at least ten countries ratify it.

During the first introduction of the agreement in the current session, Lyonpo Damcho Dorji said the Almaty Programme of Action and The Vienna Programme of Action is easily accessible online for members’ reference but some members requested the report be submitted to them in hard copy.

The foreign minister said that if Bhutan ratified the agreement it will help in formalising an institution that will strongly mark the position of Landlocked Developing Countries and such initiatives will take analytical studies on issues faced by the fellow Landlocked Developing countries. “Bhutan can also look at the exchange of scholars and researchers between the International Think Tanks and national organisations to come up with innovative plans. It will also help the country in exploring possibilities of some of our scholars or officials finding employment at the International Think Tank Secretariat,” he said.

After The Almaty Programme of Action and The Vienna Programme of Action was presented to the members of the house, the fifteen articles of the agreement were thoroughly discussed. The Assembly then voted to ratify the agreement on Tuesday.

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