Speakers at a seminar on Friday in Kolkata stressed the role of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) talked on how this sub-regional platform can address key nontraditional security issues like counter terrorism, cyber and energy security, and disaster management.
The Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCR) of India hosted the daylong seminar on the “BIMSTEC Security Cooperation”.
BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations, housing 1.73 billion people and having a combined gross domestic product of US$4.4 trillion.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are the member states of BIMSTEC that connects the South Asia with Southeast Asia.
Former Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha was present as the chief guest while Director of ISCR Arindam Mukherjee made the welcome remarks.
Captain (IN)Alok Bansal, Director, India Foundation and Adjunct Professor at New Delhi Institute of Management, Vice Admiral(Retd) Shekhar Sinha, Former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff & Commander in Chief, Western Naval Command, India, Dr. Mahfuz Kabir, Research Director, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies(BIISS), Dhaka, Captain Sarabjeet S Parm, Senior Fellow, National Maritime Foundation, Sohini Nayak, Research Associate and Foreign Policy Analyst, ISCS, India, Prof. Indranil Sengupta, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT-Kharagpur, Air Cdre (Retd) Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury, Treasurer of East West University, Dhaka , Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore, and Gautam Banerjee, Managing Director, Business Brio spoke, among others, at the seminar.
They addressed key issues like the dynamics of maritime security and cooperation among the BIMSTEC nations in this regard, BIMSTEC’S policy initiatives towards countering terrorism and radicalisation and the necessity of energy security and cooperation among the BIMSTEC member countries.
Cmde (Dr) Srikant Kesnur, Former Director Maritime Warfare Centre (MWC) and Distinguished Academician in Maritime and Naval History, Defense and Diplomacy, made the valedictory remark.
Dr. Sarup Prasad Ghosh, Director, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), chaired the session.