Bimstec member states agree to combat security challengesThe first meeting of national security chiefs of Bimstec member states concluded here on Tuesday, underlining the need to address conventional and non-conventional security challenges to harness economic prosperity and human security in the region.
The first meeting of national security chiefs of Bimstec member states concluded here on Tuesday, underlining the need to address conventional and non-conventional security challenges to harness economic prosperity and human security in the region. The meeting also decided to hold the annual National Security advisors meeting.
A statement issued after the meeting stated that the member states underscored the importance of recognising the Bay of Bengal as common security space and agreed to work out collective strategies for a common response. As there are no provisions of national security advisors in Nepal, representatives of three security agencies of Nepal attended the meeting. The decision of holding such meeting was taken at the Bimstec Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa in October 2016. Singha Bahadur Shrestha, Inspector General of Armed Police Force of Nepal was the team leader from Nepal.
“Noting with concern the emerging trends in cyber space that have security implications, it has been decided to deepen cooperation among the respective cyber institutions through a joint forum on cyber security,” the statement reads.
The meeting emphasised the importance of maritime security in view of the significance of the Bay of Bengal for the well-being, prosperity, security and socio-economic development in the Bimstec member states and decided to examine ways to further strengthen maritime security cooperation, including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
The meeting also reviewed the progress made by the Bimstec joint working group and its sub-groups on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crimes and decided that Bimstec national security chiefs and advisers will oversee implementation of their work.
It was decided to establish a Track 1.5 Bimstec Security Dialogue Forum to promote and encourage security dialogue among the Bimstec strategic community.
In view of the inter-linkages between the Himalayan and the Bay of Bengal ecological systems, the meeting considered setting up of Bimstec Himalayan Science Council to bring together scientific institutions to study the health of the ecological systems and their impacts.