Chief Advisor meets Asian Development Bank Officials

Published on Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Chief Advisor to the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, met with Ms. Irum Ahsan, Legal Counsel and Ms. Rita Marie L. Mesina, Legal Research Consultant of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang yesterday.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye and Ms. Ahsan talked about the South Asian Conference on Environmental Justice. The conference is about ADB’s Project on building capacity for environmental prosecution, adjudication, dispute resolution, compliance and enforcement in Asia.

This project aims at establishing a judge’s network on the environment and hold roundtables/conferences in SAARC and ASEAN regions. Its mandate is to enforce ‘A Common Vision on Environment for the South Asian Judiciaries.’

The first symposium was held at ADB in Manila in July 2010.The Symposium is based on environmental decision-making, the rule of law, and environmental governance. Ms. Ahsan suggested Lyonpo on organizing the Second Asian Judges Symposium in Bhutan, a nation with rich environmental conservation policies, values and ethics.

“Bhutan is the best place to start,” said Ms. Ahsan.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye said that inviting prominent members will make the symposium influential and would prove to be of importance for all SAARC nations. Lyonpo also mentioned that Bhutan is going through a financial crisis for now and would be fairly difficult to organize such an event. However, Lyonpo told Ms. Ahsan that he will consider looking into it and do the best he can.

Ms. Ahsan said that involving Chief Justices of SAARC would result in an effective correspondence and interaction network. She also suggested that the Chief Justices, as well as senior judges of SAARC nations would be invited to Bhutan by ADB in collaboration with the Supreme Court of Bhutan.

“We’re looking forward to a successful conference and hoping that the conference would result in a good resolution,” Ms. Ahsan said.