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Dhaka, Bangladesh—An elaborate show highlighting Bangladesh’s customs and culture, and the inspirational message from the country’s prime minister, greeted delegates to the opening of the 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) here September 12, 2022.

IPAMS is the largest conference for land forces in the region. This year’s conference is co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and United States Army Pacific and has attracted senior army leaders from 23 countries from around the Indo-Pacific.

“The IPAMS is a similar multi-national platform that can create a sense of friendship and warmth so that peace and stability prevail in the region,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina via video teleconference.

This is the third time Bangladesh has hosted the conference. This is also the first time since 2019 regional armies have gathered for the annual forum because of the global pandemic.

Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific, Gen. Charles A. Flynn, told the assembly of land force leaders that the way to success in the Indo-Pacific region is by working together to solve common challenges.

“We are all here at this seminar because we believe in increased cooperation, increased transparency, and respect for the national sovereignty of other nations," said Flynn to a packed house. “Increasing transparency so that intentions and actions are well known, reduces tensions and benefits everyone.”

IPAMS was created in 1977 and its objective has never waned: to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship.

During a press briefing after the ceremony, Gen. Flynn told reporters land power is the security architecture that binds this region together.

“We’re part of the very fabric of each one of our nations. If we can bring that fabric together in a closer way by exercising together and training together, and having symposiums and conferences like this together, then the region is a better place and the world is a better place.

Bangladesh Chief of Army Gen. Shafiuddin agreed and added that `by co-hosting the conference, his army always finds opportunities to learn.

“I always believe that if there is room for improvement, we never leave that opportunity to work together. And this (IPAMS) is a great opportunity to work together and learn from each other.”

The theme for this year’s conference: “Prospects and Challenges in Maintaining Peace and Security in the Indo-Pacific.” Plenary sessions feature distinguished guest speakers and lively discussions on the complexities of operating in various environments from peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, leader development, empowering women, and how to succeed in these perplexing situations.

The seminar’s working group sessions are specifically designed to be challenging and enlightening while promoting frank and open discussion. They also provide an opportunity to advance our understanding of key issues while showing respect for each other’s role in promoting security and stability in a free and open Indo-Pacific.

In addition to the plenary sessions and discussion forums, the Bangladesh Army scheduled a visit of all delegates to the humanitarian camps near Cox’s Bazar, occupied by nearly one million Rohinyga refugees, who fled their native country Myanmar five years ago under persecution of that nation’s military government.