Published:  04:12 PM, 10 November 2019

Indo Pacific should be centrally about people: ORF President

Indo Pacific should be centrally about people: ORF President


President of Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Samir Saran on Sunday said the Indo Pacific should not be about America trying to contain China or China trying to contain someone else; rather it should be centrally about the people who live in Indo Pacific region.

“It’s time to move beyond security and politics and we’ve have to focus on what really matters us,” said Saran who belongs to one of Asia’s most influential think tanks.

The ORF President was addressing a joint press conference ahead of 'Dhaka Global Dialogue 2019' together with Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) Director General Major General AKM Abdur Rahman at the BIISS auditorium. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the 'Dhaka Global Dialogue 2019' at InterContinental Dhaka on Monday morning.

Global experts will come together here at the two-and-a-half day dialogue to discuss and debate the core development issues in the Asian century where all nations can gain from partnership and collaboration. 

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, ORF President Samir Saran, BIISS DG Abdur Rahman and Chief of Staff and Programmes, ORF Tanoubi Ngangom will also address the inaugural session. 

BIISS and ORF, India will co-host the dialogue which seeks to catalyse conversations on what is fast emerging as one of the most important and dynamic political and growth geographies of the world.

They said the unique platform will convene over 150 delegates from over 50 countries to join the brightest minds in Bangladesh to discuss, ideate, and debate the most pressing global imperatives.

BIISS Director General Rahman said the future of Bangladesh is tied closely with its greater neighbourhood.

Therefore, he said, the future of the Indo-Pacific region which happens to be the confluence of two great oceans, lies in conceiving conducive regional architectures that are broad-based and inclusive. 

Saran said they truly believe this is the first collaboration of its kind where two rising and emerging developing countries are coming together to share their unique experiences and answer to questions which are the most relevant today.

The BIISS DG said the government’s policy is very simple that Bangladesh will be there with any initiative which benefits the people with growth and development.

“We’ll always be there somewhere there is an interest of Bangladesh in any form,” he said emphasiding on making a convergence instead of countering another effort.

Saran said scholars from every corner of the world, including the USA, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and Australia, will be joining the Dhaka Global Forum. “This is an inclusive forum.” 

Asked whether the Rohingya issue will also be discussed, he said they do not think that the Forum is seeking to prevent any conversation.

Rahman said there is no restriction and they have certain panel where most probably the Rohingya issue will automatically come in. “It depends on the speakers. We’ve participant from Myanmar, too.”  

Key Issues 
The panelists and moderators from home and abroad will cover key areas that include growth and development; commerce, security, privacy and data; enterprise, citizen, business and consumer engagement; culture and commerce in clothing industry; climate security and migration; health and nutrition; political economy of hard infrastructure and influences; convergence of initiatives and paradiplomacy in regional connectivity; unlocking blue economy potentials and sustainable tourism; borderless payments and innovation; transnational threats, cyber security and countering violent extremism; renewable energy; women leadership and women entrepreneurship. 

Representatives of the Head of Foreign Missions and different international organisations in Dhaka, leading entrepreneurs, political leaders, heads of think tanks and renowned professors around the world will participate in the dialogue. 
The global diverse voices across sectors and geographies will discover new ideas and propose new solutions that serve as an emerging human-centric world order out of the Indo-Pacific.

The dialogue will look at both the emerging regional and global political order and the associated institutional framework. 

It will focus on discovering a human-first growth and development policy paradigm.
The Indo-Pacific region is already at the forefront of the global response to two important processes, according to organisers.  

Bangladesh’s transition by the power of example will implicate the dimensions of growth for the entire region and beyond, according to ORF.  

Similarly, it says, the politics of the Bay of Bengal and the larger Indo-Pacific region will dynamically shape the emerging political order in this century. 

Bangladesh, organisers said, will be one of key actors of the Asian century and therefore creating an ‘ideas arena’ to discuss key developments and challenges in Dhaka is an acknowledgement of its role.

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