2nd BIMSTEC Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security - Conference Proceedings
2nd BIMSTEC Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security (27-28 November 2019)

The Second Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security was held at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi on 27-28 November 2019. Delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the BIMSTEC Secretariat participated in the meeting.

Pursuant to the successful first meeting, the Second BIMSTEC Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security aimed to continue the robust interaction and deliberations by regional Think Tanks and strategic communities towards formalizing security cooperation including in non-traditional security, in the BIMSTEC region.

Summary

The deliberation pointed out the need to finalize the pending BIMSTEC Convention on combating international terrorism and ratify it at the earliest to provide the legal framework for cooperation amongst BIMSTEC Member. Further, there is a need to harmonize the legal provisions of the Member States to deal with use of internet, social media and for countering radicalization. For creating greater maritime domain awareness and increasing maritime cooperation, the narrative needs to change to operational and functional perspectives, and the BIMSTEC Convention on Blue Economy may be drafted duly taking into account specific considerations of each of the Member States. Land locked member states need greater access to martime zone. Similarly for developing greater cooperation on environment and climate change, BIMSTEC Member States need to collaborate on their research, data management, information sharing, best practices sharing in this domain with focus on mountain regions. Mechanism for dealing with trans boundary nature of diseases, pest control and hazard control have to be developed too. At the think tank level, the BIMSTEC Member States may focus on exchange programmes and developing institutional capacities. Given the different economies present in BIMSTEC, the think tanks could consider Leave no one behind as a slogan of BIMSTEC. The formation of a BIMSTEC community of scholars would not only enable a repository of the BIMSTEC processes and developments but help contribute to its momentum and outreach.

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