BIPSS-German Roundtable STRATEGIC CHANGE

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh jointly organized a roundtable titled ‘Strategic Change.’ The roundtable held in the auditorium of the Goethe Institut Dhaka was attended by a large number of strategic experts, scholars, politicians, civil society members and the diplomatic community.

Dhaka, 29 January 2008

The world of today is witnessing a gradual shift in the strategic landscape that is heading towards the emergence of a multi-polar world order. Bangladesh must take a pro-active strategy to fit itself in that changing global scenario. Participants and speakers at the BIPSS-German roundtable expressed opinions on strategic change.

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh jointly organized a roundtable titled ‘Strategic Change.’ The roundtable held in the auditorium of the Goethe Institut Dhaka was attended by a large number of strategic experts, scholars, politicians, civil society members and the diplomatic community.

Major General ANM Muniruzzaman, ndc, psc President, BIPSS in his opening remarks has said that the rise of major powers is a strategic reality now. The current dynamics of strategic change are followed by the key four aspects, these are the ‘traditional’ combined with the rise of new power centric states like the peaceful rise of China and the rise of India, ‘irregular’ i.e. emergence of civil, insurgency and the terrorism in world security arena. ‘Catastrophic’ led by the ever increasing threats of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and lastly ‘disruptive’ which is emerging due to the adoption of new technology by the state and non-states actors to initiate future bio, cyber and space warfare. It is also a reality that the gravity of power is shifting towards Asia. The economic power is shifting more rapidly than the military power. In this sea of change, nation states, regional power blocks are restructuring themselves to fit in the new power relations.

The roundtable had four sub-themes. These are: ‘The Changing Nature of Great Power Relationship’, ‘The Rise of China and its Strategic Implications’, ‘The Rise of India and Its Strategic Implications’, and ‘The Dawn of the Asia Pacific Century’.The panellists were Dr. Wilfried von Bredow, Institute of Political Science, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany, Dr. S. M. Ali, Senior Editorial Coordinator, Asia Pacific Region, BBC, London and Muhammad Zamir, Former Secretary and Ambassador.

The panellists and the participants discussed about the recent trend of changing nature of great power relationship in which the active engagement of Japan in world politics is very significant. The world of today also has to deal with the emerging regional powers like Iran, South East Asian states. While the major power centres like United States, European Union have rearrange their strategy to adapt the fast changing global strategic scenario. They also discussed about the rise of China, India and Asia Pacific region. Here the discussants pointed that the China is growing its capacity in economy and military sectors. China should look into the environment management system to reduce environmental degradation.

While pointing towards the rise of India, discussants focused that India will be the centre of economic activities. To improve relations with the neighbours India should play more pro-active role to reduce mutual tensions among the neighbouring countries. In the South Asian context, SAARC has already adopted energy, environment and food issues to meet the challenges in near future. In the last session, they discussed about the rise of Asia-Pacific region. South Asian states, China, Japan are playing key role in this region. This region is also adopted security policy to contain regional and global conflict.

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