The House unanimously ratified the Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone Layer; and the Air Service Agreement between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the United Arab Emirates today.
During the introduction of Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone Layer, Hon’ble Yeshey Penjor, the Minister for Agriculture & Forests presented a general background, benefits and key obligations on ratifying the agreement. He said that the Agreement takes appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting from human activities which are likely to modify the ozone layer. He informed the house that the Royal Government of Bhutan ratified the Vienna Convention on the Protection of Ozone Layer that was adopted in 1985 by the International community. The Convention called for cooperation on monitoring, research and data exchange on use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). Following this, the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted in 1987, imposing obligations to reduce the use of ODS. The Kigali Amendment is the Fifth Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Depletes the Ozone Layer adopted during the 28th Meeting of Parties held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2016.
The Protocol was passed in the National Assembly during the first session of the third parliament and forwarded to the National Council for ratification during 23rd session. The House assigned the Natural Resources and Environment Committee to review the agreement during the 22nd session.
Reporting on the Committee’s review work, the Committee Chairperson underlined that based on the national interest analysis done by the National Environment Commission, it would benefit environmental conservation, strengthen technical advancement and human capacity of the country. Therefore, the Committee recommended the House to ratify the amendments as proposed with minor changes to be made in the Dzongkha text.
Later, Hon’ble Karma Donnen Wangdi, the Minister for Information and Communications introduced the Air Service Agreement between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In introducing the Agreement, the Minister briefly stressed on the background, advantages and disadvantages on ratifying the agreement. He reported that the agreement will not only facilitate the expansion of air connectivity for Bhutan with the rest of the world but is further expected to promote bilateral relationship with the UAE. Emphasizing on the benefits, he said that the agreement will also increase employment and business opportunities considering that Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest airport hubs for trade and commerce, promotion of tourism, reliable air connectivity and also boosting of the national economy.
The Agreement was ratified during the first session of the third parliament and forwarded to the National Council for adoption in the 23rd session. The Foreign Relations Committee was assigned the task to review this agreement.
The Committee recommended to the house that as the ASA has been found to have been initiated legitimately and is beneficial to the two airlines in the long run, the Committee accepted the changes made by the National Assembly for ratification.
Both the agreements was ratified with 22 members unanimously voting in favour.
The agreements will be forwarded to the National Assembly with the amendments adopted by the House.
The House will resume tomorrow with the presentation and deliberation of the review report on the issues related to Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
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