Foreign Policy & Security
Date : 2012-03-14
BEI has, over the last few years, undertaken a number of studies and workshops on foreign policy and security. In 2007-8, BEI, in collaboration with government officials and civil society, produced a ‘Counter-Terrorism Strategy for Bangladesh’. BEI has also organized workshops, such as for police officers and prosecutors to effectively counter terrorism, as well as a workshop on non-traditional security challenges in South Asia. In 2009-10, BEI, in partnership with the Organization for Research Foundation in Delhi, held two workshops on ‘Bangladesh-India Security Dialogue’ in Dhaka and Delhi. The dialogues were undertaken with support from the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, with the objective to bring together policymakers, law enforcement agencies and civil society representatives to discuss security issues of importance to both Bangladesh and India.
BEI, in partnership with the Government of Denmark, has undertaken a three-year project on countering terrorism. The project would focus on the long-term objective of strengthening the counter-terrorism regime through advocacy for a government-owned and implemented National Counter Terrorism Policy.
BEI, in partnership with the Australian High Commission, has undertaken the Regional Communities Outreach Programme.The project is in the backdrop of increasing concern over the involvement of madrassa students in terrorism.
More recently, BEI organised a three-day “Regional Workshop for Police Officers and Prosecutors in South Asia on Effectively Countering Terrorism” in November, 2009 in Dhaka. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, in association with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), with the support of the Governments of Australia and Denmark. The purpose of the workshop was to enhance the counter-terrorism capacities of law enforcement personnel in the region.
BEI, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), also organized a workshop on “National Security and Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh,” with support from the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSSS), in November 2009 in Dhaka. The workshop aimed to stimulate dialogue among a broad spectrum of security sector and civil government and non-governmental officials and to develop actionable recommended steps to improve national security and civil military cooperation to achieve national goals.
BEI has also partnered with the National Bureau of Research (NBR) in Seattle, USA, to organize a workshop in December 2009 in Dhaka. The goal of the initiative was to deepen the understanding of cooperation challenges and efforts in South Asia and contribute to the regional capacity building of South Asian expertise and institutions in such efforts. This event brought together an international team of experts to discuss the trends and the concerns in the areas of food and water security, environmental security and disaster management, and health and human security.
Finally, a workshop on Combating Terrorism was organized and convened by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), with support from the Defense Institute Reform Initiative (DIRI) from the US Office of the Secretary of Defense. The workshop had two major objectives: the first objective was to contribute to the efforts for enhancing the national security of Bangladesh, in general, and improving and strengthening the civil-military relations in the country, in particular. The other objective was to construct a comprehensive national strategy for combating terrorism in Bangladesh.
Non-traditional security challenges, such as food and water resource crises, the threat of pandemic disease, and environmental disasters, are concerns shared by all countries in South Asia. These security issues are regional threats that cut across borders and have the potential to exacerbate tensions already present in South Asia.
BEI, in association with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) organized a discussion workshop titled ‘Non-traditional security challenges in South Asia: 2025’ in the year 2009. It is believed that the workshop will, eventually, help contribute to the development of effective mechanisms for regional cooperation on non-traditional security issues, which in turn may facilitate the resolution of South Asia’s traditional security problems.
BEI and NBR brought together an international team of experts to take a critical look at some of the most pressing non-traditional security threats South Asia might face in the future. The workshop focused on three major non-traditional security themes – “Food and Water Security,” “Environmental Security and Disaster Management,” and “Health and Human Security.” BEI’s president, Mr. Farooq Sobhan presented the opening paper of the workshop.