The Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS), Colombo organized the webinar ‘Reimagining Multilateralism in South Asia’ today, May 28, 2021 from 9.30 am to 13:00 to appraise common challenges and opportunities and to reflect upon entry points to strengthen alliances and partnerships in the region in post-pandemic period.
Dr. Minna Thaheer, Director, BCIS made the welcome address and explained the objectives of the webinar. Her Excellency President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Chairperson, BCIS and Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation delivered the opening remarks whilst Prof. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Former Vice Chancellor, Asoka University, and President of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India delivered the Keynote Address.
The webinar was composed of an inaugural session followed by two panel discussions titled ‘Wither Cooperation in South Asia?’ and ‘Exploring Strategic Entry Points for Multilateralism,’ chaired by Prof. Emeritus Amal Jayawardena, Senior Professor (Retd.) University of Colombo and Sir John Kotelawala Defense University and Dr. Athula Samarakoon, Senior Lecturer, Open University, Sri Lanka, respectively. Prominent local and foreign experts – Dr. Nishchal N Pandey, Director, Centre for South Asian Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal, Dr. Salma Malik, Asst. Professor, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, Dr. Aly Shameem, Former Chairman / President of Civil Service Commission of Maldives, Prof. Shahab Enam Khan, Department of International Relations, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, Ambassador H.M.G.S. Palihakkara Former Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka and former Governor of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka and Prof. Suba Chandran, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore, India were the Panellists at the two sessions.
The Webinar was attended by 370 vibrant participants that comprised members from the diplomatic community, foreign service officials, academics, scholars, activists and students. BCIS hopes to publish the proceedings of the webinar in the near future.