BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs Meet

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In pursuance to the decisions taken at the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa, India, on 16 October 2016, the first meeting of National Security Chiefs of BIMSTEC Member States was hosted by India in New Delhi on 21 March 2017.

The Meeting noted that BIMSTEC Member States face common security challenges and underlined the necessity of addressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges to harness economic prosperity and human security in the region.

The Meeting underscored the importance of recognizing the Bay of Bengal as common security space and agreed to work out collective strategies for common responses.

BIMSTEC Member States were also invited for a Conference on Counter Radicalisation to be hosted by India.

Noting with concern the emerging trends in cyber space that have security implications, the Meeting decided to deepen cooperation among the respective cyber institutions through a Joint Forum on cyber security.

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 discussed ways and means of harnessing emerging space technologies for addressing security challenges.

The Meeting reviewed the progress made in BIMSTEC Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crimes and its Sub-Groups and decided that BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs/Advisers will oversee implementation of their work.

The Meeting decided to establish a Track 1.5 BIMSTEC Security Dialogue Forum to promote and encourage security dialogue among 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 a BIMSTEC Himalayan Science Council to bring together scientific institutions to study the health of the ecological systems and their impact on human security.

India made an offer of 100 scholarships towards capacity building in security related sectors.

In view of the importance of security cooperation as a means to achieve the objectives of the BIMSTEC, it was decided to hold the meeting annually. The Meeting welcomed Bangladesh’s offer to host the next meeting.

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