East Asia Summit, Evaluation, Nalanda University and Mekong-Ganga Cooperation

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East Asia Summit

Background

  • Nehru had convened the Asian Relations Conference in 1947 and later argued for the creation of Asian Regional Organisation

  • But the idea failed to materialize

  • In 1990s Mahathir Mohammad proposed the creation of an East Asian Economic Grouping (EAEG)

  • EAEG also failed to take off

2005: First in Kuala Lumpur

  • 2010: 5th meeting in Hanoi

  • 2011: 6th meeting in Bali (October). US and Russia to join the summit

  • 16 countries to East Asia (ASEAN+3+3) + US + Russia

Significance

  • Represents about 60% of world population

  • X% of world trade

Dealt with Various Issues over the Years

  • 2007: Disaster management and pandemics and energy security

  • 2008: Global Economic Crisis

  • 2009: Climate Change negotiations

  • Helping to bridge gaps between sub-regions and nations in Asia.

  • East Asian Community is a proposed trade bloc

Evaluation

  • Integral part of the regional architecture and a purposeful vehicle for community building in the region

  • Need to move from policy declarations to greater functional cooperation

  • EAS has taken India beyond ASEAN and a step closer to APEC

Nalanda University

  • Established under the aegis of East Asia Summit as a regional initiative

  • At the EAS summit 2009(?) in Thailand the members issued a joint press statement supporting the establishment of the university

  • Nalanda Mentor Group was constituted in 2007 (Chairman: Amartya Sen)

  • NMG also has representatives from Singapore, China, Japan and Thailand

Will have the following schools

  • Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative religions

  • Historical studies

  • International relations and peace studies

  • BM and DS

  • Language and literature

  • Ecology and Environmental Studies

Mekong-Ganga Cooperation

  • This concept was floated by India

  • Established in 2000 at Vientiane in the first MGC Ministerial Meeting

Six Members

  • India

  • Thailand

  • Myanmar

  • Cambodia

  • Laos

  • Vietnam

Four Areas of Cooperation

  1. Tourism

  2. Culture

  3. Education

  4. Transportation

  5. Has annual ministerial meetings. 4th meeting was in Sebu, Philippines

  6. MGC initiative is a vehicle for ‘soft diplomacy’ in countries that have had considerable cultural influence from India.

  7. Promoting tourism requires connectivity

MGCI’s intentions concerning transport and communications consists of two aspects

1. Road networks

  • India-Myanmar Tamu-Kalewa road inaugurated in 2001

  • East West Corridor linking Bay of Bengal to South China Sea

2. Rail connectivity

Paradoxically, the impact of MGCI is seen more in bilateral relations rather than in multilateral initiatives

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

  • 1997 Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal

  • India has taken a leading role in this grouping. The second BIMSTEC Summit was held at New Delhi in November 2008. India has set up a Tsunami Warning Centre to extend information exchange and data sharing arrangements with BIMSTEC countries. In addition to the 300 scholarships offered under the Indian Technical and Economic cooperation Progamme (ITEC) 150 more offered to BIMSTEC countries (during the summit in Delhi) of which a report indicates that 80% have been utilized. Negotiations are underway for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement in goods. The last BIMSTEC ministerial meeting held in Myanmar in December 2009 was attended by External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna, where Climate Change was identified as one more area of cooperation

  • BIMSTEC FTA Framework is being negotiated

Other

Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.

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