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SAARC Charter Day 2021: In a message on the 37th anniversary of the Charter Day of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Prime Minister said in a message that SAARC can be fully effective only in the absence of “terror and violence”.  The Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was established on 8 December 1985 in Dhaka with the signing of the SAARC Charter.

SAARC dealing with Terrorism

The full potential of SAARC can be realized only in an environment free from terror and violence. This indicates that India’s concern over Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism is a primary impediment to India’s participation in this summit.  In their messages, both Pakistan and Nepal called for an early convening of the SAARC summit. India called on SAARC countries to “regroup to defeat the forces that support and nurture terrorism”.  “Integrated, Connected, Safe and Prosperous South Asia” and supports the economic, technological, cultural and social development of the region. 

Highlighting the importance of greater cooperation, India has tackled the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mentioned the example of initial coordination among SAARC countries to deal with the pandemic. An emergency COVID-19 fund was created in which an initial contribution of US$ 10 million was made by India.

SAARC Charter Day: India’s Cooperation With SAARC

SAARC functioning and activities have almost come to a standstill due to strained relations between India and Pakistan. Since the Uri terrorist attack in India, SAARC has no important meeting except a virtual meeting (in March) on the status of COVID-19  Because India had boycotted the summit to be held in Pakistan (in 2016).

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The Charter of SAARC reflects the collective resolve and shared vision of the region to promote peace, stability and prosperity through mutual cooperation, poverty alleviation, accelerating socio-economic development and economic growth in South Asia. The need for regional cooperation is greater than ever.  is far more.  There is a need for collective concerted efforts, participation and cooperation among the member countries of SAARC to overcome the pandemic.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in South Asia. The founding members of SAARC are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. The 13th annual summit held in 2005  During the year, ‘Afghanistan’ became the latest member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The headquarters and secretariat of this organization are located in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), representing 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the population, and 8% (US$2.9 trillion) of the global economy. It is the world’s most densely populated region and one of the most fertile.  The traditions, dress, food and culture and political aspects of SAARC countries are almost the same, which helps in coordinating their actions. Poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, natural disasters, internal conflicts, industrial and technological backwardness,  There are similar problems and issues like low GDP and poor socio-economic status. 

Credit: Zunaid Ahmed Palak 

Important information about SAARC 

  • The talk of forming an organization for mutual cooperation in South Asia first arose in May 1980. 
  • Foreign Secretaries of the seven countries met in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, for the first time after discussions in April 1981. 
  • Foreign Ministers of member countries met for the first time in Delhi in August 1983. 
  • The heads of state or government of the seven countries gathered for the first time in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. 
  • A charter was adopted in the summit held on 7-8 December 1985 and with this SAARC was born. 

SAARC countries meeting 

  • The summit being held in Islamabad in 2003 is the 12th summit of SAARC. 
  • There have been 11 SAARC summits before this – Dhaka(1985), Bangalore(1986), Kathmandu(1987), Islamabad(1988), Male(1990), Colombo(1991), Dhaka (1993), Delhi(1995)  , Male(1997), Colombo(1998) and Kathmandu(2002). 
  • The Council of Foreign Ministers of SAARC has been scheduled to meet twice every year and if necessary, the Council can meet separately. 
  • 23 meetings of SAARC foreign ministers have been held before the Islamabad summit. 
  • There is also a separate committee of foreign secretaries of SAARC named as Standing Committee. 
  • So far 28 general and four special meetings of the Standing Committee have been held. 
  • Apart from these, there are seven more technical committees of the organization whose meetings are held regularly.

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