Bangladesh intends to maintain its military's position as a leading contributor to global peacekeeping operations under the United Nations, according to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
A country's army is vital for safeguarding its sovereignty, Hasina said while virtually addressing the opening ceremony of the 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) on Monday.
"Born through the War of Liberation in 1971, the Bangladesh Army has developed significantly over time. Today, Bangladesh is well known around the world for her great contributions to peace support operations," she said.
Welcoming participants at the event, the premier said it was an honour for the Bangladesh Army to co-host the international seminar involving 27 countries. She thanked the government of the United States for co-hosting the seminar.
Hasina highlighted her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib's dream of building a developed and prosperous ‘golden Bangladesh’. "We have been working to fulfil his dream of turning Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by 2041."
The Bangladesh Army is always ready to serve the country and protect world peace by taking part in UN missions across the globe, the prime minister said.
Development, peace and security have become the main policy issues for almost all countries worldwide, leading to stronger cooperation among states for sustainable development, she said.
The IPAMS is a similar multinational platform that can create a sense of friendship and warmth so that peace and stability prevail in the region, according to Hasina. It has always played a "significant role in maintaining friendship, peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region", she noted.
Since its independence, Bangladesh has undergone a massive socio-economic transformation and is now recognised by the international community as a “development miracle", she added.
Emphasising Bangladesh's friendly relationship with its global and regional partners, Hasina believes this has allowed the nation to grow and gradually become empowered.
On the IPAMS, the Bangladesh leader said, "I believe that senior military leaders must talk, interact and understand each other's viewpoints through these kinds of forums."
Security dynamics in the contemporary world are ever-changing and getting more complex by the day, according to her. Any conflict or crisis affects every nation in the world and significantly hampers the security and steady development of the state, she said while highlighting the Rohingya refugee crisis in southeast Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh has given shelter to more than 1.2 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. Apart from their own miseries, their prolonged presence is causing a serious impact on the economy, environment, security and socio-political stability of Bangladesh.”