H.E. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General of SAARC
Arjun Bahadur Thapa
A career diplomat of Nepal, Arjun Bahadur Thapa is the twelfth Secretary–General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), comprising eight member countries of South Asia, namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Association’s Secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Thapa assumed the post of Secretary–General of SAARC on 1 March 2014.
Thapa secured first position in the first class in the Certificate Level in Law from Nepal Law Campus in 1976. Upon securing the first position, he was awarded, through open competition, a Soviet Scholarship by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Nepal to pursue a Masters Degree in International Law from Peoples Friendship University, Moscow that he completed in 1983 with Honours. In 1994, he obtained a Diploma in Environmental Management from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
In 1983, Thapa joined the Government Service of Nepal as Section Officer at the Ministry of Law and Justice. He served the Ministry as Assistant Secretary (1993-1994) and later as Under Secretary (1994-1999). During his service at the Ministry, he was attached to International Law and Treaties Division all through. In June 1999, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He held the position of Foreign Secretary from 2013 to January 2014. He also served as Nepal’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (December 2007-January 2012); as Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, New York (November 2005-August 2006); Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, New York (December 2002-November 2005 and August 2006-February 2007); as Joint Secretary & Head of Regional Organizations Division (SAARC & BIMSTEC), Europe–Americas Division, Administration Division and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (April 2012-July 2013).
Publication and Decoration
Thapa is the author of “The Nepalese Law of Treaties” published in 1992. He was conferred on Gorkha Dakshin (IV Class) in 1995.