The foreign secretary defined the ocean as the new frontier of Bangladesh's foreign policy
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque has said the time has come for Bangladesh to formulate an ocean policy, in order to ensure proper coordination among all concerned agencies including private sectors, civil society and also guide Bangladesh to establish regional collaboration on ocean affairs.
The foreign secretary made the remark while delivering his address as chief guest at the workshop titled “Blue Economy National Coordination,” held at a city hotel on Saturday.
The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the European Union (EU) delegation to Bangladesh.
It was attended by 100 high ranking government officials and prominent experts on ocean affairs from different corners of the country.
Shipping Secretary Md Abdus Samad, Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral Md Khurshed Alam and Charge d' Affairs of the European Union Delegation to Bangladesh Mario Ronconiamong others, attended the program.
The foreign secretary defined the ocean as the new frontier of Bangladesh's foreign policy.
He mentioned that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea -1982 which constituted the law of the sea has been so far being playing a key role to ensure ocean governance across the globe. Following that theSustainable Development Goals(SDG-14) have emerged as a new tool for further ensuring ocean governance and sustainable use of ocean resources.
Rear Admiral Khurshed Alam emphasized on the expansion of blue economy activities in Bangladesh.
He informed that the workshop is a continuation of the first international workshop on blue economy in September 2014 and the second international dialogue on blue economy in November 2017.
He aspired that the outcome of the coordination workshop would play a vital role in determining the level of progress Bangladesh has achieved in terms of all the 26 potential blue economy sectors, previously identified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mario Ronconi informed that the EU will continue to work for the development of the particular areas where there is still scope for further development and innovation. He emphasized on the utilization of ocean resources, ensuring its sustainable use and preservation.
He also ensured that the EU will offer more scholarships on Masters and PhD programs for students or experts of this region.
The other experts of the workshop opined to categorize the potential areas where immediate action is required and other areas for further research or innovation.
Among the 26 sectors, fisheries development, mariculture, blue biotechnology, shipping and ports, marine spatial planning, cruise shipping etc. have been identified as potential sectors for blue economy development in Bangladesh.
All experts emphasized on formulating a national framework for blue economy and stressed on establishing a proper coordination mechanism among all stakeholders.