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Bled Strategic Forum at the Bay of Bengal Conversation 2023

The second edition of the Bay of Bengal Conversation, hosted by the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), took place between 7 and 9 October, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, under the title ‘Rising Tides’.

Bled Strategic Forum took part in the event on the invitation of the organizer as a global platform for generating ideas and exchanging views on contemporary society and its future. As a platform of inclusivity and diversity, it joins events to discuss the most pressing issues of today and tomorrow with different stakeholders around the world.

For millennia, the Bay of Bengal has been an interconnected and interdependent region.

Trade and cross-border migration have resulted in culturally diverse communities in the littoral states and towns. The recent geostrategic shift from the Euro-Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific has once again given the region greater geopolitical relevance.

While the region is distinguished by its vast geographical diversity, its natural resources are under threat from demographic shifts, environmental deterioration, and repeated climate change-related calamities.

It is home to twenty-two percent of the world’s population, more than half of whom live in poverty and lack access to food and energy. The Bay’s coastal region, which is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise, is home to over four hundred million people. Securing energy supplies to support the region’s healthy economic growth is likewise a crucial problem.

A number of security issues also affect the nations surrounding the Bay of Bengal. Humanitarian crises have exacerbated terrorism and increased violence, endangering peace attempts.

Zillur Rahman, Executive Director of the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), underlined in his concluding remarks that Bangladesh has the potential to become a champion for regional cooperation, climate action, and a role model for inclusive approaches to difficulties in the future.

He believes that in order to address issues and prevent anxieties in the region, conversations must continue and be continued. We need to understand more about the problems and difficulties the world faces.

The objective of the yearly Bay of Bengal Conversation, CGS flagship conference on governance, security and development, is to bring together stakeholders from multiple communities for sustained dialogue on issues that face the region and create pathways through which regional co-operation could take shape. The conference serves as a platform to facilitate track II diplomacy among all nations that consider themselves stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region.

BSF Secretary General, Peter Grk, and Matej Gregorec joined the event and took part in several speaking and moderating role at the following sessions: “Diplomacy on Track 2: The Role of CSOs, NGOs and Think Tanks Across Borders”, “Gender Geopolitics: The Women’s Empowerment Movement of the Indo-Pacific”, “Studio Session Times: G20 Takeaways”, and the “The Future of Development Partnerships in Asia”.

We look forwards to continuing our cooperation with the Centre for Governance Studies at the 19th annual Bled Strategic Forum, which will take place on 2 and 3 September 2024.

More information about the event is available at

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