An International Workshop on "Peace, Prosperity and Progress in Asia through Connectivity, Collaboration and Capacity Building" was held in Hyderabad on March 27-29, 2014.
It was organized jointly by Osmania University, Hyderabad, Centre for Advance Regional Studies, Centre for Dalit Studies and National Investigation Agency with the support of Ministry of External Affairs.
Participants included Ambassadors from the Central Asian Region- Tajiskistan and Turkmenistan, former Indian Ambassadors like V.B.Soni, Ashok Sajjanhar and Reena Pandey, Security and Foreign Policy Experts, Senior Retired Defence Personnel, specialists from China and Russia, Academics, Bureaucrats, Trade and Industry Experts, Civil Society Activists, specialists working on gender, dalits and tribals etc.
The objective of the seminar was that it is possible to construct a radically different, better and more organized and humane world through trust and confidence building. This could be done by the creation of a security community through innovative methods of connectivity, collaboration and capacity building through trade and transport corridors and programmes that transcend borders to establish well connected roads and sea lanes.
The seminar was divided in the following segments to consider specific issues:
- Multi-level security scenarios-strengths and opportunities;
- Peace processes-individual to societal and from local to global;
- Issues of Women and Child Welfare;
- Trade, transit and Transportation;
- Social sector initiatives for HIV/AIDS, pre/post natal healthcare, implementation of dalit rights; &
- Regional Defence collaboration.
Ambassador V.B.Soni who is also the President of Centre for Advance Regional Studies (CARS) for Central Asia, the think tank on India's relations with Central Asian countries made important contributions in all the sessions based on his firsthand experience of the region. (He was Ambassador of India to Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia). His keynote speech set the tone in which he touched upon the critical dimensions of India's foreign policy towards the South and Central Asia. He pointed out that while Indian foreign policy was becoming multi-dimensional it required a reassessment as issues such as terrorism, fundamentalism, drug trafficking, and maritime security which impact India are coming to the fore. He also highlighted India's role with different regional and international organizations as well as the deepening relations with the Eurasian states and Russia.