IONS 2016

Inaugural Session

Bangladesh Navy hosted the 5th biennial assembly of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Seminar and Conclave of Chiefs and assumed the Chairmanship of IONS for 2016-18 which was held on 10-13 January 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Total 31 navies from around the world attended in IONS 2016 including 13 Chiefs of Navies and Heads of Maritime Security Agencies. Events of IONS 2016 included a seminar on the chosen theme ‘Fostering Partnership in IOR: Charting Course for Maritime Cooperative Engagement’ over first two days, following one day set aside for the Conclave of Chiefs. The hon’ble President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Mr. Abdul Hamid addressed in the opening ceremony and formally inaugurated IONS 2016 symposium. In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to all IONS members for choosing Bangladesh Navy as the host of this prestigious and important biennial symposium and handing over the mantle of its chairmanship to Bangladesh Navy for next two years.

In his speech, hon’ble President emphasized the importance of the Indian Ocean saying that ‘The Indian Ocean carries huge prospect and potentials both from geo-strategic and geo-economic point of view to facilitate maritime trade and commerce, economic prosperity and exploitation and exploration of the ocean resources. But we should bear in mind that proper management of this vast region and its effective utilization is not possible by single nation alone. In this regard, we shall have to work together as a single entity so that every potential could be utilized for the greater benefit of the mankind. We should not let go the opportunities of this region by sheer differences of opinion or lack of mutual trust and confidence. We must make proper use of this common platform to build strong bridges among the IOR littorals. I am certain that IONS is playing a pivotal role to develop co-operation among the friendly navies of the region’.  The highlight of opening ceremony also included the ‘IONS Telescope handing over ceremony’ and Commemorative Stamp inauguration by the Hon’ble President.

IONS Seminar 2016

The afternoon program on the same day marked the opening session of IONS 2016 seminar where eminent speakers presented on pre-chosen topics over two days on five sessions themes, namely ‘Geo-strategic and economic outlook of IOR’, ‘Maritime security in the IOR’, ‘HADR’, ‘Maritime cooperation and collaboration’ and ‘Future outlook’. The seminar had been a huge success with lively and active participation of the audience present. The interactions among chiefs of navies and delegation heads were very fruitful in meeting common challenges with more collaborative approach; which will surely overlook differences to inculcate common bonds, mutual respect, and a commitment to work together for peace and prosperity. Also interactions through numbers of bi-lateral call on were held between the delegation heads during the seminar. The IONS 2016 seminar was wrapped up through ‘Comments in Margin’ from Navy Chiefs of India, Iran and US delegation head followed by Vote of thanks of the host Chairman on 12 January 2016 afternoon.

IONS Conclave of Chiefs 2016

The last concluding event of IONS 2016 symposium, Conclave of Chiefs was represented by 19 member and 03 observer nations on 13 January 2016. The session was effective, constructive and rewarding for all IONS nations; where IONS members resolved pending issues and made up minds and words for better and more fruitful conduct of IONS matters in the days to come.

Social & Cultural Events

Beside the IONS Seminar and Conclave numerous social and cultural programs were also arranged. Those included Ice breaking reception, Cultural Program followed by Gala Dinner & Navy Symphony Orchestra Concert and Bangladesh Fair and Light & Sound Show depicting beautiful Bangladesh followed by a Food Festival to amuse the participants with the tests of Bengali Cuisine.

Spouse Program

Separate social and cultural programs were also arranged for spouses of guests which included Workshop on women empowerment in Bangladesh, Navy Anchorage School visit, Cultural Program by BNFWA & Ladies club, National Museum visit and Brief on ‘Readymade Garments (RMG) Sector in Bangladesh’ during the visit of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).