Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the Asian nations to work together to ensure maritime security of the region region.
Inaugurating the 14th high-level meeting of the Heads of Coast Guards and Maritime Agencies (HACGAM) in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi prime minister also emphasized sharing of experience among different states for naval safety.
She hoped that this meeting would be able to devise newer strategies in making the coasts safe and risk-free as the sea areas, unfortunately, infested with crimes related to terrorism, drug-trafficking, gun-running, human-trafficking, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, piracy, armed robbery and many more heinous activities.
The threats are sometimes trans-boundary in nature, she said adding that the criminals use sophisticated technologies and machineries. As a result, it is not possible to curb these crimes for a single country.
“Unified efforts of all can prevent these activities,” she said.
Life and livelihood of a large population in this region are mainly dependent on the sea, she said adding that there was a link between the development of human civilization and ocean. Early human habitation was built centering the seas or waters.
“The importance of oceans can also be understood from the fact that 70% of the world people still live within 100 kilometers of the coastlines. The nearer a society is to the ocean, the better is the life of its members,” she said.
The prime minister inaugurated commemorative postal stamp on the occasion attended by about 100 delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam
Director General of Bangladesh Coast Guard Rear Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury gave the welcome address while Home Minister Aasaduzzaman Khan and Home Secretary Mostafa Kamal Uddin were present.
Members of the cabinet, chiefs of the three services, parliament members, senior secretaries and secretaries and senior military and civil officials attended the function.
Hasina termed Bangladesh to be fortunate as a delta connected with the Indian Ocean through the Bay of Bengal. It has some 715 kilometers of coastline connecting 12 districts of three divisions.
Hasina said there is an abundance of resources in the sea and the extraction of which can serve for generations. Hence, the safe and environmentally sustainable extraction of sea resources will make a great contribution to the wellbeing our people, she said, according to State-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
The prime minister said a safe movement of domestic and foreign sea vessels is also essential as 90 percent of our foreign trade is done through maritime transportation.