Charter of the Himalayan Confederacy
The Charter of the Confederacy of the Himalayan Nations
- His Majesty, the Maharajadhiraja of Nepal, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev
- His Highness, the Gyelpo Raja of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk
- His Higness, the Chogyal Raja of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, and
- His Highness, the Gyalpo Raja of Lo, Jigme Singi Pelbar Bisti,
- With a view to strengthening the close relations and numerous ties which bind the Himalayan Nations,
- And out of concern for the cementing and reinforcing of these bonds on the basis of respect for the independence and sovereignty of these Nations,
- And in order to direct their efforts toward the goal of the welfare of all the Himalayan Nations, their common weal, the guarantee of their future and the realization of their aspirations ,
- Have agreed to conclude a Charter to this effect and have delegated as their plenipotentiaries those whose names are given below:
- Who, after the exchange of the credentials granting them full authority, which were found valid and in proper form, have agreed upon the following:
- The Confederacy of Himalayan Nations shall be composed of the independent and sovereign Himalayan Nations that have signed this Charter.
- Every independent Himalayan Nation shall have the right to adhere to the Confederacy. Should it desire to adhere, it shall present an application to this effect which shall be filed with the permanent General Secretariat and submitted to the Council at its first meeting following the presentation of the application.
- The purpose of the Confederacy is to draw closer the relations between member Nations and co-ordinate their political activities with the aim of realizing a close collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Himalayan Nations.
- It also has among its purposes a close co-operation of the member Nations with due regard to the structure of each of these Nations and the conditions prevailing therein, in the following matters:
- Economic and financial matters, including trade, customs, currency, agriculture and industry;
- communications, including railways, roads, aviation, navigation, and posts and telegraphs;
- Cultural matters;
- Matters connected with nationality, passports, visas, execution of judgments and extradition;
- Social welfare matters;
- Health matters.
- The Confederacy shall have a Council composed of the representatives of the member Nations. Each Nation shall have one vote, regardless of the number of its representatives.
- The Council shall be entrusted with the function of realizing the purpose of the Confederacy and of supervising the execution of the agreements concluded between the member Nations on matters referred to in the preceding article or on other matters.
- It shall also have the function of determining the means whereby the Confederacy will collaborate with the international organizations which may be created in the future to guarantee peace and security and organize economic and social relations.
- A special Committee shall be formed for each of the categories enumerated in Article 2, on which the member Nations shall be represented. These Committees shall be entrusted with establishing the basis and scope of co-operation in the form of draft agreements which shall be submitted to the Council for its consideration preparatory to their being submitted to the Nations referred to.
- The recourse to force for the settlement of disputes between two or more member Nations shall not be allowed. Should there arise among them a dispute that does not involve the independence of a Nation, its sovereignty or its territorial integrity, and should the two contending parties apply to the Council for the settlement of this dispute, the decision of the Council shall then be effective and obligatory.
- In this case, the Nations among whom the dispute has arisen shall not participate in the deliberations and decisions of the Council.
- The Council shall mediate in a dispute which may lead to war between two member Nations or between a member Nation and another Nation in order to conciliate them.
- The decisions relating to arbitration and mediation shall be taken by a majority vote.
- In case of aggression or threat of aggression by a Nation against a member Nation, the Nation attacked or threatened with attack may request an immediate meeting of the Council.
- The Council shall determine the necessary measures to repel this aggression. Its decision shall be taken unanimously. If the aggression is committed by a member Nation the vote of that Nation will not be counted in determining unanimity.
- If the aggression is committed in such a way as to render the Government of the Nation attacked unable to communicate with the Council, the representative of that Nation in the Council may request the Council to convene for the purpose set forth in the preceding paragraph. If the representative is unable to communicate with the Council, it shall be the right of any member Nation to request a meeting of the Council.
- The decisions of the Council taken by a unanimous vote shall be binding on all the member Nations of the Confederacy; those that are reached by a majority vote shall bind only those that accept them.
- In both cases the decisions of the Council shall be executed in each Nation in accordance with the fundamental structure of that Nation.
- Every member Nation of the Confederacy shall respect the form of government obtaining in the other Nations of the Confederacy, and shall recognize the form of government obtaining as one of the rights of those Nations, and shall pledge itself not to take any action tending to change that form.
- The Nations of the Himalayan Confederacy that are desirous of establishing among themselves closer collaboration and stronger bonds than those provided for in the present Charter, may conclude among themselves whatever agreements they wish for this purpose.
- The treaties and agreements already concluded or that may be concluded in the future between a member Nation and any other Nation shall not be binding on the other members.
- The permanent seat of the Confederacy of Himalayan Nations shall be Kathmandu. The Council of the Confederacy may meet at any other place it designates.
- The Council of the Confederacy shall meet in ordinary session twice a year, during the months of March and September. It shall meet in extraordinary session at the request of two member Nations whenever the need arises.
- The Confederacy shall have a permanent General Secretariat, composed of a Secretary-General, Assistant Secretaries and an adequate number of officials.
- The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Council upon the vote of three-fourths of the Nations of the Confederacy. The Assistant Secretaries and the principal officials shall be appointed by the Secretary-General with the approval of the Council.
- The Council shall establish an internal organization for the General Secretariat as well as the conditions of service of the officials.
- The Secretary-General shall serve for a five-year term. They shall be appointed alternately from each Member Nation in the order of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Lo.
- The Secretary-General shall have the rank of Ambassador; and the Assistant Secretaries the rank of Ministers Plenipotentiary.
- The first Secretary-General of the Confederacy is designated in an annex to the present Charter.
- The Secretary-General shall prepare the draft of the budget of the Confederacy and submit it for approval to the Council before the beginning of each fiscal year.
- The Council shall determine the share of each of the Nations of the Confederacy in the expenses. It shall be allowed to revise the share if necessary.
- The members of the Council of the Confederacy, the members of its Committees and such of its officials as shall be designated in the internal organization, shall enjoy, in the exercise of their duties, diplomatic privileges and immunities.
- The premises occupied by the institutions of the Confederacy shall be inviolable.
- The council shall meet the first time at the invitation of the Maharajadhiraja of Nepal. Later meetings shall be convoked by the Secretary-General.
- In each ordinary session the representatives of the Nations of the Confederacy shall assume the chairmanship of the Council in rotation.
- Except for the cases provided for in the present Charter, a majority shall suffice for decisions by the Council effective in the following matters:
- Matters concerning the officials.
- The approval of the budget of the Confederacy.
- The internal organization of the Council, the Committees and the General Secretariat. .
- The termination of the sessions.
- The member Nations of the Confederacy shall file with the General Secretariat copies of all treaties and agreements which they have concluded or will conclude with any other Nation, whether a Member of the Confederacy or otherwise.
- If one of the member Nations intends to withdraw from the Confederacy, the Council shall be informed of its intention one year before the withdrawal takes effect.
- The Council of the Confederacy may consider any Nation that is not fulfilling the obligations resulting from this Charter as excluded from the Confederacy, by a decision taken by a unanimous vote of all the Nations except the Nation referred to.
- The present Charter may be amended with the approval of three-fourths of the Members of the Confederacy in particular for the purpose of strengthening the ties between them and of regulating the relations of the Confederacy with the international organizations that may be created in the future to guarantee security and peace.
- No decision shall be taken as regards an amendment except in the session following that in which it is proposed.
- Any Nation that does not approve an amendment may withdraw from the Confederacy when the amendment becomes effective, without being bound by the provisions of the preceding article.
- The present Charter and its annexes shall be ratified in accordance with the fundamental form of government in each of the contracting Nations.
- The instruments of ratification shall be filed with the General Secretariat and the present Charter shall become binding on the Nations that ratify in fifteen days after the Secretary-General receives instruments of ratification from the four Nations.
- The present Charter has been drawn up in Nepali in Kathmandu and dated July 1, 1975, in a single text which shall be deposited with the General Secretariat.
- A certified copy shall be sent to each of the Nations of the Confederacy.
ANNEX ON THE APPOINTMENT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE CONFEDERACY
- The Nations signatory to the present Charter have agreed to appoint Gagandeep Sharma of Nepal Secretary-General of the Confederacy of Himalayan Nations.
- His appointment shall be for a term of five years.
- The Council of the Confederacy shall later determine the future organization of the General Secretariat.