(i) Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC)
(ii) Disaster Management
India is the Lead Country of the Security Sector.
Security Sector comprises of three sub-sectors, namely Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC), Disaster Management and Energy, as recommended by the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held virtually in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 01 April 2021. When the BIMSTEC was established in 1997, the leaders of the Member States advocated for peaceful and progressive development in the region. Subsequently the Leaders have identified the fight against terrorism and organized crime as one of the important prerequisite for sustainable growth and maintaining peace in the region. The Eighth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 18-19 December 2005 added Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) as one of the priority sectors of BIMSTEC.
Institutional Mechanism: Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) sub-sector conducts its business through the BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs Meeting (BNSC). As of now, BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs held three (03) Meetings. The BNSC Meeting oversees the BIMSTEC Joint Working Group Meeting on Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (JWG-CTTC), which has held 08 Meetings so far, and its constituent following six Sub-Groups:
- BIMSTEC Sub-Group on Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotics Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemical (Lead Shepherd-Myanmar): 06 Meetings held;
- BIMSTEC Sub-Group on Intelligence Sharing (Lead Shepherd-Sri Lanka): 04 Meetings held;
- BIMSTEC Sub-Group on Legal and Law Enforcement Issues (Lead Shepherd -India): 08 Meetings held;
- BIMSTEC Sub-Group on Anti- Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (Lead Shepherd-Thailand): 11 Meetings held;
- BIMSTEC Sub-Group on the Cooperation on Countering Radicalization and Terrorism (Lead Shepherd-India): 01 Meeting held; and
- BIMSTEC Sub-Group on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration (Lead Shepherd-Bangladesh).
Legal Instruments: The BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking was entered into force on 16 March 2021. Another legal instrument namely BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters is ready to sign in the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit. Some legal instruments namely BIMSTEC Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, BIMSTEC Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons, and BIMSTEC Convention on Extradition are in negotiation process.
Besides these, BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs decided to add the following issues to deal with traditional and non-traditional security threats in deepening cooperation among Member States:
- Preparing a comprehensive Plan of Action to enhance Maritime Security Cooperation among the Member States;
- Enhancing space security cooperation among the Member States and to prepare specific proposals in this regard;
- Forming a Core Group for working out collective strategies for common responses;
- Establishing a Track 1.5 BIMSTEC Security Dialogue Forum;
- Establishing a Joint Forum to strengthen cyber security among the BIMSTEC Member States;
- Establish cooperation among respective agencies of BIMSTEC Member States to enhance Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capability;
- Setting up a BIMSTEC Himalayan Science Council to study the health of the Himalayan ecological system comprehensively;
- Enhancing capacity building in security related sectors;
- Expediting implementation of the BIMSTEC Information Sharing Centre.