The 4th Bimstec Summit was held in Nepal at Kathmandu on the 30th to 31st of August 2018. at the conclusion of 2 days summit on Friday, Bimstec member Nations unanimously adopted the Kathmandu decoration 18 points. Here we will also learn about Bimstec Vs Saarc & Why Saarc failed and why Bimstec is growing?. It Is a current affairs topic & many questions will be asked in your upcoming exam from this topic.
4th Bimstec Summit 2018
A peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region come out in the Kathmandu declaration which is adopted unanimously by leaders of Bimstec nations.
Member nation said that terrorism is a great threat to the international peace and security. Member Nations also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Bimstec grid interconnection to enhance energy cooperation among member states.
Nepalese Prime minister, Khadga Prasad Sharma also handed over the chairmanship of the forum to Sri Lankan president Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala. Sri Lanka will now host the 5th Summit of Bimstec.
The 18-points Kathmandu declaration is expected to enhance the effectiveness of the Bimstec secretariat by engaging it in various technical and economic activities in the region.
Kathmandu Declaration 18-Points
- Cooperation based on respect for the principles of sovereignty, quality, territorial, integrity, political Independence, no interference in internal affairs peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit.
- Work collectively towards making Bimstec a stronger more effective and result oriented organisation for achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region.
- It also resolves to achieve enhance the level of economic and social development in the region.
- Faith unequally in the principles and purposes of the charter of the United Nations and tries to strengthen it.
Bimstec leaders strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. the declaration says
- Deplore terrorist attacks in all parts of the world including in Bimstec countries.
- There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.
- Identify and hold accountable state and non-state entities that encourage, support or finance terrorism.
- It also called all countries to divide a comprehensive approach to stop terror financing.
- Ahead of the concluding ceremony leaders of the Seven Nation group also made for a Retreat.
Download 4th Bimstec venue Declaration In PDF:- 18-Points Kathmandu Declaration
Prime Minister Modi At 4th Bimstec Summit
In 4th Bimstec Summit Prime minister, Narendra Modi appeals to Bimstec member Nations to ensure regional peace and security for the development of the reason. he also argues nations to unite to combat terrorism cross-border crime and illegal drugs.
Prime Minister Modi also called for humanitarian assistance and relief effort from Bimstec Nations during natural disasters in member countries.
Modi announced scholarships to students, researchers and professionals from Bimstec members countries to study at the Nalanda and other universities. He also invited all Bimstec leaders to attend the international Buddhist conclave to be held in India in August 2020 as a guest of honour.
Prime Minister Modi mentioned that the region has become a meeting point for India’s neighbourhood first and act East policy. Prime Minister Modi also made several bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 4th Bimstec Summit.”I believe that there is a big opportunity for Connectivity-trade connectivity, economic connectivity, transport connectivity, digital connectivity and people. to-people connectivity,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of the 4th BIMSTEC summit in Kathmandu “India is committed to working with the BIMSTEC member states to enhance regional connectivity,” Modi said.
Top leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) met on Nepal for two days.
Let’s find out what does the grouping that started with just 4 countries in 1997.
History of BIMSTEC
- Bimstec is a regional organisation with 7 member states that lie in the literal and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal. this sub Regional organisation came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok declaration.
- The Bimstec permanent Secretariat is at Dhaka been.
Bimstec constitutes 7 members countries, 5 from South Asia including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and 2 from Southeast Asia including Myanmar and Thailand.
- Initially, the economic Bimstec was formed with four member states with the acronym BIST-EC. which included Bangladesh, India Sri Lanka and Thailand economic cooperation.
- Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22nd December 1997 during a special ministerial meeting in Bangkok. the group was renamed BIMST-EC.
As it included Myanmar.
- With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan in the 6th ministerial meeting on February 2004 in Thailand, the name of the grouping was changed to Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation.
- Bimstec started working with 6 sectors including trade, Technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries for sectoral cooperation in late 1997. Again it expanded to impress 9 more sectors including agriculture, Public Health, poverty alleviation, counterterrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change in 2008.
- The first Bimstec Summit was organised on 31st July 2004 in Thailand Bangkok.
- The 2nd Bimstec Summit was held on 13th November 2018 India at New Delhi.
- The third Bimstec venue was held on 4th of March 2014 in Myanmar at Nay PyiDaw.
- The 4th Summit was held on 30th and 31st August 2018 in Nepal at Kathmandu.
What Is BIMSTEC
- The regional group create a bridge between south and south-east Asia and represent a reinforcement of relations between these countries. Bimstec has established a platform for inter-Regional Cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.
- Bimstec countries region is home to around 1.5 million people who constitute around 22% of the Global population with a combined Gross Domestic Product of 2.7 trillion economies. All 7 countries have sustained average annual rates of growth between 3.4% to 7.5% from 2012 to 2016.
Objective Of Bimstec
The objective of buildings such as an alliance to mitigating the onslaught of globalisation and by utilising regional resources and geographical advantages.
Unlike many others regional grouping, Bimstec is a sector driven Cooperative organisation with differences among India and Pakistan coming in way of the smooth functioning of the Saarc. Grouping like Bimstec can take forward the concept of Regional Cooperation in a different manner.
The 2-decade old Bimstec has been recently revived by 7 members. Bimstec includes countries of the Bay of Bengal region and acts as a bridge between south and Southeast Asia.
The primary objective of Bimstec is to facilitate technological and economic cooperation among its members.
Principle Of BIMSTEC
- Bimstec represents 1.6 million people of diverse culture. it is based on two founding principles first is to respect the principle of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political Independence, non-interference in internal affairs peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit and not be a substitute for bilateral regional or multilateral cooperation involving member states.
- Bimstec has a combined GDP of 2.7 trillion dollars from 2012 to 2016. all seven member Nations have managed to sustain their GDP at an annual rate of 3.4% and 7.5%.
- India is the regions largest economy, on the 20th anniversary of Bimstec venue in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Bimstec not only connects south and Southeast Asia but also Ecologies of the great Himalayas on the Bay of Bengal. He further said that Bimstec members have shared values, histories way of life and destinies that are interlinked. he said Bimstec represents a common space for peace and development. He categorically defines the importance of Bimstec as a platform that fulfils India’s neighbourhood first and Act East policy.
- Experts believed Bimstec regional connectivity feel to Grab India’s attention because of member Nations are less developed than India. even after two decades Bimstec integration within the regions remains limited but a stronger Bimstec means a more stable and flourishing Asia.
Saarc Vs Bimstec
- Two Organisation Saarc and Bimstec focus on show graphically overlapping regions but they are not an equal alternative. Saarc is a purely regional organisation where Bimstec is interregional and connects both South Asia and the Asean countries. But they have overlapping interest in terms of functions.
To understand the importance of these organisations and their differences. it is necessary to understand the need for Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
- The grouping of South Asia, Southeast Asian countries Bimstec or the Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepa,l Sri Lanka and Thailand. Bimstec bringing together 1.5 million people or 21% of the world’s population. these countries have a combined GDP of over 2.5 trillion US dollars.
- Saarc or South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, on the other hand, has 8 member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. as of 2015 21% of the world’s population and 3.8% or 2.9 trillion US dollars of its GDP was in the Saarc region.
- In past India has spent more political capital and efforts to make Saarc work then on Bimstec. Saarc is dominated by India and Pakistan and naturally hamstrung by tensions between the two countries.
Objective Of Saarc
- Saarc performance has been less than satisfactory. with its role in strengthening Regional Cooperation coming under scrutiny. the main objectives of SAARC include promote Welfare of the people, accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development and strength collective self-reliance.
- Saarc organisation also seeks to contribute to mutual trust and understanding among member countries. another object includes strengthening cooperation with other developing countries and cooperating with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes.
Saarc Failure Reasons
- Saarc has established itself as a regional forum. it has failed to attain these objectives. in the many failures of SAARC lack of Trust among member Nations is the most significant factor between India and Pakistan. in recent times Pakistan’s Non-Cooperation has told many major initiatives including the SAARC motor vehicle agreement. The agreement which was crucial for harnessing Regional connectivity across South Asia could not be signed in 2014 due to Pakistan’s dithering.
- The Saarc nations faced another set back after the 19th summit scheduled to be held in Pakistan in 2016. this meeting was suspended for an indefinite period as member country is declined to participate and said that in Pakistan there is the absence of a conducive regional environment.
- Saarc has also been a failure in the area of security cooperation for instance while cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan is a major concern for India and Pakistan has failed to address these concerns
- Bimstec, on the other hand, has been hailed as a platform for Regional Cooperation. it connects the literal countries of the Bay of Bengal and the Himalayan ecologies. a big reason behind the success of Bimstec is that member countries have generally cordial relationship. Bimstec major strength is 2 influential regional powers India and Thailand.
- Comparing the two groupings trade among the Bimstec countries reached 6% in just a decade while the Saarc has remained around 5% since its Inception.Bimstec increasing its performance and its effectiveness is an achievable goal as long as the countries exhibit in the political will and mutual respect.
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