Lyonpo Damcho Dorji introduced the Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of Think Tank for Land Locked Development Countries in the parliament yesterday in a way that leaves a lot to be desired from elected representatives.

Lyonpo asked the members of the parliament to google the Almaty Declaration and Programme of Action. The Almaty Programme of Action was among the first steps adopted in addressing the needs of landlocked developing countries. The action was superseded by The Vienna Programme of Action.

He said the agreement would benefit the country in sharing ideas and expertise for development of landlocked countries.  However, members were not given action documents to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement.

Lyonpo said that the agreement would help make trade and transit easy for Bhutan, and bolster the nation’s security and sovereignty.

Representative from Panbang, Dorji Wangdi, said that it is important to understand the roles and responsibilities of the Think Thank itself. “The programme of action is not clear”

Along the same vein, the representative from Lamgong-Wangchang, Khandu Wangchuk, said that transit is important trade but there is a need to understand every aspect of the agreement before Bhutan desides to become a signatory.

The debate had to be deferred because the foreign minister had not distributed the programme of action documents to the representatives. He urged the members to browse about the programme actions on the net.

The foreign ministry will distribute the ‘required” documents among the members and deliberate on the pros and cons of the agreement again.

Jigme Wangchuk