EAM Jaishankar attends 17th BIMSTEC meeting

1 Apr: The External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, participated in the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on April 1, 2021. The meeting, chaired by Sri Lanka, was held in virtual mode with the participation of all BIMSTEC Member States.

In his statement at the meeting, Dr. Jaishankar, reiterated India’s commitment to further building the momentum of regional cooperation under the BIMSTEC framework and make the organization stronger, vibrant, more effective and result-oriented. He highlighted progress achieved in sectors where India is the Lead Country viz Counter Terrorism & Trans-national Crime, Transport & Communication, Tourism, and Environmental & Disaster management and other activities undertaken by India to deepen BIMSTEC cooperation.

The meeting endorsed the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity for adoption at the next BIMSTEC Summit and three MoUs / Agreements for signing at the next BIMSTEC Summit, namely the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, MoU on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States; and Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

They encouraged Member States to complete their internal procedures for adoption of the BIMSTEC Charter and endorsed Rationalization of Sectors and Sub-sectors of cooperation under the BIMSTEC framework which will be adopted at the next BIMSTEC Summit.

The meeting welcomed the proposal of the Chair to hold the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit in Sri Lanka in next few months in consultation with the Member states.

The meeting took note that the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate, being hosted in India, is fully functional with the state of the art facilities to provide Disaster Early Warnings.

The Ministers appreciated the implementation of several initiatives announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at the last BIMSTEC Summit, including the BIMSTEC Startup Conclave in virtual mode in January 2021; Second BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in Puri in February 2020; Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking for BIMSTEC countries in February 2020; the BIMSTEC Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems in New Delhi in December 2019; A Capacity Building Workshop on Risk Informed Urban Planning at Gujarat Institute for Disaster Management, Gandhinagar in December 2019; the BIMSTEC Military Exercise and Army Chief’s Conclave 2018 in Pune in Sept 2018; BIMSTEC Ministerial Conclave at the India Mobile Congress 2018 in New Delhi in October 2018; Training of Diplomats from BIMSTEC countries at the Sushma Swaraj Institute for Foreign Service, New Delhi in February 2020; training of 24 researchers / professionals from BIMSTEC countries in space and remote sensing at the North East Space Application Centre, Shillong in January 2020; and providing 30 Scholarships to students from BIMSTEC countries in the Nalanda University.

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