Special ReportsPublished on Jul 13, 2023 PDF Download
ballistic missiles,Defense,Doctrine,North Korea,Nuclear,PLA,SLBM,Submarines

Mekong-Ganga Dialogue 2014


MAR 16 2015

Mekong-Ganga Dialogue 2014

Mekong-Ganga Dialogue, an inter-regional initiative, is a step towards achieving common understanding towards diverse and complex challenges that plague sustainable resource management in Mekong and Ganga regions through sharing of experiences and knowledge. Here is a report on Mekong-Ganga Dialogue 2014.

Most impetus in Asia for economic and environmental sustainability is in the Mekong and Ganga regions. The cultural linkages between the two civilizations, dating back thousands of years, have supported the bilateral relationships in the region despite many ideological and political differences. The seemingly convergent economic interests have broadened the scope of cooperation, but Mekong and Ganga countries have much to gain from cooperation beyond this sector. While attention is often on security concerns, there is also a congregation with respect to non-traditional security challenges, particularly climate change, shared river management and environmental protection.

In 2000, the formal Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) composed of six countries: India, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, was established in Vientiane. The MGC was purportedly established to foster cooperation in tourism, education and culture between the Mekong countries and India and to build an expansive basis for future collaboration between the two regions. The formulation of the MGC undergirds a larger paradigm shift in India’s foreign policy, particularly with the initiation of the then-Prime Minister’s Look-East policy in 1991. The Look-East policy was spurred by India’s impulse towards an economic resurgence on the world stage and a strategic engagement with countries of South East Asia. This period was characterised by multiple multilateral, bilateral and regional initiatives that were aimed at furthering India’s collaborative efforts with South-East Asia such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation), which was launched in 1997.

Therefore, in keeping with this backdrop, the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation was established as a way of cementing the civilisational, historical and socio-economic linkages between the Mekong and Ganga regions (India). Informed by this approach, the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi and the Mekong Program on Water Environment and Resilience (M-Power) took the formal dialogue a step forward and launched the first Mekong Ganga dialogue in 2012 as a Track II dialogue that could combine synergies from both regions on water management, environmental conservation and the food-water-energy nexus. 2014 witnessed the third Mekong Ganga dialogue that was able to widen the scope of collaboration and make the dialogue more representative of South Asia as a whole with Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan on board as part of the Ganga countries.

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.