EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar said India has been taking steps to strengthen the functioning of the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate that is located in India to enhance disaster management capacities.
New Delhi: The BIMSTEC countries live in one of the 'most disaster-prone regions' of the world, and the zone is also subjected to other forms of threats, including terrorism violent extremism, said External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.
"…We urge all BIMSTEC partners to consider joining the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). We cannot ignore the challenges that terrorism and violent extremism, as also transnational crime and narco-trafficking or indeed new challenges such as cyber-attacks, pose to all of us," Dr Jaishankar said at the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting being hosted in Sri Lanka.
"Activities that enhance our disaster management capacities merit our special attention. In this connection, we are taking steps to strengthen the functioning of the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate that is located in India, which has been serving this region," he said.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations.
The BIMSTEC member states comprise Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
The Bay of Bengal achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 14 targets and ensuring a 'good order at sea' in keeping with international maritime law, particularly UNCLOS, is a priority.
"A practical way to proceed is to have discussions using existing dialogue mechanisms, even while we put in place a plan of action in the maritime domain which is consistent with our national priorities. The science of oceans is not easy. To get matters moving, India is keen to develop platforms and initiatives that can enhance collaboration between our scientists and experts," he said.
Dr Jaishankar welcomed Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand, as the incoming BIMSTEC Chair.
"India looks forward to working with you, Sir and your country during the course of your Chairmanship to take the BIMSTEC agenda forward," he said.
The BIMSTEC will now get a charter and an institutional framework that has been strengthened in its 25 years of existence. Its areas of cooperation have been rationalised.
"We will utilise these developments to further build the organisation to meet the aspirations of our peoples and their desire for a better life," he said.