Recently the UN high commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char Island, where he stated that the attention of international donors has shifted in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Does this shifting of focus hurt the agenda of forcing Mayanmar to repatriate the refugees? At this point, is there any form of diplomatic endeavour which will facilitate the safe repatriation of the Rohingya people back to their homeland in Myanmar?
We have seen two big military developments in the Bay of Bengal region: the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) and the AUKUS military treaty between Australia, the UK, and the USA. On the one hand, China is increasing their militarization in the South China Sea with incrementally hostile rhetoric toward Taiwan. On the other hand, we have the USA and its regional allies consolidating their forces under an Indo-Pacific strategy which most experts claim is primarily a way to balance regional power against China. US think tank Council of Foreign Relations deem the escalation in the north and South China Sea as of critical concern for the USA.
We have recently seen increasing interest from the World Bank and EU regarding cross-border energy trade in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal region. The general idea is to invest in renewable hydroelectric power in Bhutan and Nepal, which will be bought by both India and Bangladesh. Initial projections estimate that this could be one of the major steps for Bangladesh to SDG Goal 7 and transition from its current fossil fuel and natural gas energy grid to a fully green energy grid with zero carbon emission.