- BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting
- Exercise/Cutlass Express 2023
BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting
Focus: GS II: International Relations
Why in News?
Recently, the Minister of State for External Affairs participated in the 19th The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministerial Meeting virtually from Bangkok.
BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting:
- The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Ministerial Meeting was held recently, where several important documents and agreements were approved by the participating Ministers.
Approval of Key Documents:
- The Ministers approved several key documents, including the Rules of Procedure for Core BIMSTEC Mechanisms, Sectoral BIMSTEC Mechanisms, and BIMSTEC’s External Relations.
- These documents will be submitted to the 6th BIMSTEC Summit.
Approval of Host Country Agreement:
- The draft Host Country Agreement between India and the BIMSTEC Secretariat was also approved during the meeting.
- The agreement will establish the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate in India.
Approval of Terms of Reference:
- The Meeting approved the Terms of Reference for an Eminent Person’s Group on the Future Directions of BIMSTEC, which were finalized under the special scheme for institution building.
Approval of BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030:
- The Ministers also approved the BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030, which will be launched at the 6th BIMSTEC Summit.
Approval of Administrative and Disciplinary Rules:
- The Meeting gave its nod to the Administrative and Disciplinary Rules of the Secretariat and amended Financial Rules and Regulations of the BIMSTEC Secretariat.
- These approvals will help to streamline the functioning of the Secretariat.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia:
- Sri Lanka
- Myanmar (South-east Asia)
- Thailand (South-east Asia)
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are the member states dependent on the Bay of Bengal.
- Fourteen priority sectors of cooperation have been identified and several BIMSTEC centres have been established to focus on those sectors.
- The permanent secretariat of the BIMSTEC is in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
History of Formation
- In 1997, a new sub-regional grouping was formed in Bangkok under the name BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
- Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22 December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
- In 2004, at the first Summit the grouping was renamed as BIMSTEC or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.
- There are 14 main sectors of BIMSTEC along technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and southeast Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
- Trade & Investment
- Transport & Communication
- Public Health
- Poverty Alleviation
- Counter-Terrorism & Transnational Crime
- Environment & Disaster Management
- People-to-People Contact
- Cultural Cooperation
- Climate Change
- The BIMSTEC uses the alphabetical order for the Chairmanship which has been taken in rotation commencing with Bangladesh (1997–1999).
Exercise/Cutlass Express 2023
Focus: GS III: Security challenges
Why in News?
INS Trikand participated in Sea Phase-I of the International Maritime Exercise/Cutlass Express 2023 (IMX/CE-23) held in the Gulf.
About Exercise/Cutlass Express 2023
- The Indian Navy’s maiden participation in the IMX/CE-23 (International Maritime Exercise/ Cutlass Express-23) is currently underway in the Gulf region from February 26 to March 16, 2023.
- IMX/CE-23 is one of the largest multinational maritime exercises in the world, conducted by the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which comprises 34 nations.
Participation of INS Trikand:
- INS Trikand, a frontline frigate of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors, is participating in the exercise.
- It is a part of the Talwar class of guided missile frigates and based in Mumbai.
The Exercise and its Importance:
- The IMX/CE-23 is an important exercise that will help enhance interoperability and collective maritime capability with maritime partners in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- It will also serve as a platform to strengthen relationships with other nations.
- In November 2022, INS Trikand had also participated in the CMF-led Operation Sea Sword 2.
- Participation in exercises like Sea Sword 2 and IMX/CE-23 will enable the Indian Navy to enhance its capabilities and develop closer relationships with maritime partners in the region.