The two-day meeting of SAARC Programming Committee concluded in Kathmandu today. All eight members participated in the meeting.
Secretary General of SAARC Arjun Bahadur Thapa highlighted the progress made by the Association since March 2016. The committee discussed various administrative and financial issues related to SAARC Secretariat and its Bodies.
Besides senior officers of member states, Directors of the SAARC Regional Centres and Heads of SAARC Specialized Bodies also participated in the meeting.
This was the first senior level meeting of Association since postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in November last year. The Summit was postponed after four nations Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India requested for it following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan.
About the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC):
- SAARC is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia. It promotes development of economical and regional integration.
- As of 2015, SAARC member countries compromise of 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 9.12% of the global economy.
- SAARC Secretariat:
- Member Countries:
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (joined in 2007).
- Nine observer states:
Australia, China, European Union, Japan, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, and United States.
- Formation History:
The idea for the SAARC was proposed by Ziaur Rahman, the then President of Bangladesh on May 2, 1980.
- The seven founding countries had met for first time in April 1981 and then in 1985, they created SAARC Charter. The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in December 1985.