Int’l river conclave in Guwahati from May 28-29

Guwahati, May 25 (PTI) An international river conference to articulate collective vision of cooperation in the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asian region will take place in Assam’s Guwahati from May 28-29, officials said on Wednesday.

The third edition of the conclave, ‘NADI’ (Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence), will be organised by Shillong-based think tank Asian Confluence in collaboration with the Union External Affairs Ministry, Act East Policy Affairs Department of the Assam government, North Eastern Council and other partners.

The Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies is the country partner for the event and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IIT Guwahati and Guwahati University are knowledge partners.

“A well planned collaboration with the states of Northeast and neighbouring countries on management of shared waters can alleviate disasters to a large extent and catapult the region to being a hub of connectivity and green commerce,” Asian Conclave Executive Director Sabyasachi Dutta told reporters here.

The conference will focus on the region south of Himalayas from Ganga, Brahmaputra to Mekong as a contiguity of river basins with common challenges that require close cooperation beyond political borders.

The two-day event will be inaugurated by Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while dignitaries such as Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and high commissioners and ambassadors of several countries will be present, Dutta said.

“Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance of India, will deliver the valedictory address of the conclave on May 29,” he said.

The conference is aimed at building confidence in the key role of Northeast in taking forward India’s strategic initiative for energy and water security in the neighbourhood and the Bay of Bengal region leading towards a vibrant and secure Indo-Pacific, Dutta said.

“NADI uses the symbols and narratives of our shared rivers and shared waters to encourage shared ideas on collaboration with emphasis on 5Cs — Connectivity, Culture, Commerce, Conservation and Collaboration — in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin,” he added.