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.
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Major General (Rtd.) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Defence and Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Mr. Sonam Topgay, Secretary, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan; Mr. Thaung Tun, National Security Advisor of Myanmar; Mr. Singha Bahadur
Shrestha, Inspector General, Armed Police Force of Nepal; Brig. M.D.U.V Gunatilake, Director, Military Intelligence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Mr. Vera Urairat, Deputy Secretary General of the National Security Council of the Kingdom
of Thailand and Mr. Sumith Nakandala, Secretary General of BIMSTEC participated in the meeting chaired by Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser of India.
They also called on Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
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.
Given that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability in the Bay of Bengal region, the Meeting recognised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization
and decided to take concrete measures to enhance cooperation and coordination among their law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations and enhance capacity building. 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.
March 21, 2017