- SAARC is an economic and political organization.
- SAARC was established on December 8, 1985.
- In terms of population - almost 1.5 billion people .
- It aims to accelerate the process of economic and social
development in Member States.
- SAARC provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work
together in the spirit understanding.
- In April 2007, at the Association's 14th summit, Afghanistan
became its eighth member .
- In the late 1970s, Bangladeshi President Ziaur Rahman proposed
the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian
- President Rahman addressed letters to the Heads of Government
of the countries of South Asia, presenting his vision for the
future of the region and the compelling arguments for regional
cooperation in the context of evolving international
- The foreign secretaries of the seven countries met for the
first time in Colombo in April 1981 and identified five broad areas
for regional cooperation
- Aseries of meetings followed in Nepal (Katmandu/November 1981),
Pakistan (Islamabad/August, 1982), Bangladesh India (Delhi/July
1983) to enhance regional cooperation
- The next step of this process was the Foreign Ministers meeting
in New Delhi in 1983 where they adopted the Declaration on South
Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC).
- First SAARC Summit held on 7-8 December in 1985 in Dhaka where
the Heads of State or Government of seven countries adopted the
Charter formally establishing the South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
- To promote the welfare of the people
- To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural
- To promote and strengthen collective self-reliance
- To contribute to mutual trust, understand and appreciation of
one another's problem;
- To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance
- To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries;
- To strengthen cooperation among themselves
- To cooperate with international and regional organisations with
similar aims and purposes.
- The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu on 16
January 1987 and was inaugurated by Late King Birendra Bir Bikram
Shah of Nepal
- It is headed by a Secretary General
- The Secretariat coordinates and monitors implementation of
activities, prepares for and services meetings, and serves as a
channel of communication between the Association and its Member
States as well as other regional organizations
- The SAARC Secretariat and Member States
- observe 8 December as the SAARC Charter Day.
- Abul AhsanJanuary 16, 1987 to 15 October 1989
- Kant K BhargavaOctober17,1989 to December 31,1991
- Ibrahim Hussain ZakiJanuary 1, 1992 toDecember31,1993
- Yadav Kant SilwalJanuary 1, 1994 to December 31, 1995
- Naeem U. HasanJanuary 1, 1996 to December 31, 1998
- Nihal RodrigoJanuary 1, 1999 to January 10, 2002
- Q.A.M.A. RahimJanuary 11, 2002 to February 28, 2005
- Lyonpo Chenkyab DorjiMarch 1, 2005 to February 29, 2008
- Sheel Kant SharmaMarch 1, 2008 to present
10. IPA(Integrated Programme of Action)
- The Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation was adopted
by the Foreign Ministers in 1983 in New Delhi. During the meeting,
the Ministers also launched the Integrated Programme of Action
(IPA) in nine agreed areas namely:-
- Health and Population Activities
- 1st Saarc Summit(Dhaka, December 8, 1985)
- 2nd Saarc Summit(Bangalore, November 17, 1986)
- 3rd Saarc Summit(Katmandu, November 4, 1987)
- 4th Saarc Summit(Islamabad, December 31, 1988)
- 5th Saarc Summit(Male', November 23, 1990)
- 6th Saarc Summit(Colombo, December 21, 1991)
- 7th Saarc Summit(Dhaka, April 11, 1993)
- 8th Saarc Summit(New Delhi, May 4, 1995)
- 9th Saarc Summit(Male', May 14, 1997)
- 10th Saarc Summit(Colombo, July 31, 1998)
- 11th Saarc Summit(Katmandu, January 6, 2002)
- 12th Saarc Summit(Islamabad, January 6, 2004)
- 13th Saarc Summit(Dhaka, November 13,2005)
- 14th Saarc Summit(New Delhi, April 3-4,2007)
- 15th Saarc Summit(Colombo, July 27 August 4,2008)
12. SAPTA(SAARC Preferential Trading Agreement )
- The Agreement on (SAPTA) was signed on 11 April 1993 and
entered into force on 7 December 1995
- To promote and sustain mutual trade and economic cooperation
within the SAARC region through the exchange of concessions.
- The establishment of an Inter-Governmental Group (IGG) to
formulate an agreement to establish a SAPTA by 1997 was approved in
theSixth Summit of SAARCheld in Colombo in December 1991.
- Principles underlying SAPTA
- Overall reciprocity and mutuality of advantages
- Negotiation of tariff reform
- Recognition of the special needs of the Least Developed
Contracting States and agreement on concrete preferential measures
in their favour
- Inclusion of all products, manufactures and commodities in
their raw, semi-processed and processed forms.
- So far, four rounds of trade negotiations have been concluded
under SAPTA covering over 5000 commodities
14. SAFTA(South Asian Free Trade Agreement)
- The Agreement on the South Asian Free Trade Area is an
agreement reached at the 12th SAARC summit at Islamabad, capital of
Pakistan on 6 January 2004.
- Free trade area covering 1.4 billion people in India, Pakistan,
Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives
- The new agreement i.e. SAFTA, came into being on 1 January 2006
and will be operational following the ratification of the agreement
by the seven governments
- India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -to bring their duties down to 20
percent in the first phase of the two year period ending in
- In the final five year ending 2012, the 20 percent duty will be
reduced to zero in a series of annual cuts.
- Nepal, Bhutan, and Maldives -three years to reduce tariffs to
16. Dhaka 2005 summit
- The summit accorded observer status to People's Republic of
China, Japan, South Korea and United States of America. The nations
also agreed to organize development funds under a single financial
institution with a permanent secretariat, that would cover all
SAARC programs ranging from social, to infrastructure, to economic
17. Observer Status
- In April 2006, the United States of America and South Korea
made formal requests to be granted observer status.
- The European Union also indicated interest in being given
observer status, and made a formal request for the same to the
SAARC Council of Ministers meeting in July 2006.
- On August 2, 2006 the foreign ministers of the SAARC countries
agreed in principle to grant observer status to the US, South Korea
and the European Union
18. SAARC 2008 summit
- The 15th SAARC summit was held at Colombo during 1 stand 3 rdof
- The SAARC declaration covers areas of regional cooperation,
partnership for growth, connectivity, energy, environment, water
resources, poverty alleviation, SAARC development fund, transport,
information and communications technology development, SAFTA and
trade facilitation, terrorism, and other social and cultural
- On energy, the Heads of State and Government recognize the need
to: develop and conserve conventional sources of energy; build up
renewable energy resources; and introduce energy reforms, energy
efficiency and the trade and sharing of technology.
- For the first time in its history, the declaration specifically
- SAARC foreign ministers signed agreements on charter of the US
$ 307 million SAARC Development Fund, the South Asian Regional
Standards Organization, Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance on
Criminal Matters (including terrorism), and taking Afghanistan into
21. Political issues and ineffectiveness
- SAARC has intentionally laid more stress on "core issues"
rather than more decisive political issues like the Kashmir dispute
and the Sri Lankan civil war.
- SAARC is unable to play a crucial role in integrating South
- Over the years, SAARC's role in South Asia has been greatly
diminished and is now used as a mere platform for annual talks and
meetings between its members.
22. European Union (EU) and SAARC
- In 1999, EU and SAARC agree to cooperate on improving market
access for SAARC products into EU.
- The EU has observer in SAARC since 2006.
- EU is convinced that SAARC could play a useful role in regional
co-operation and dialogue.
23. FUTURE MEMBERSHIP
- The People's Republic of China
- The Islamic Republic of Iran
- The Republic of South Africa
24. DESIGNATED SAARC YEARS
- 1989SAARC Year of Combating Drug Abuse and Drug
- 1990SAARC Year of Girl Child
- 1991SAARC Year of Shelter
- 1992SAARC Year of Environment
- 1993SAARC Year of Disabled Persons
- 1994SAARC Year of the Youth
- 1995SAARC Year of Poverty Eradication
- 1996SAARC Year of Literacy
- 1997SAARC Year of Participatory Governance
- 1999SAARC Year of Biodiversity
- 2002-2003SAARC Year of Contribution of Youth to
- 2004SAARC Awareness Year for TB and HIV/AIDS
- 2006South Asia Tourism Year
25. SAARC DECADES
- 1991-2000SAARC Decade of the Girl Child
- 2001-2010SAARC Decade of the Rights of