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  • 1.SAARC

2. 3.

  • 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 .


  • Evolution
  • In the late 1970s, Bangladeshi President Ziaur Rahman proposed the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries.
  • 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 realities.
  • 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).

7. Objectives

  • To promote the welfare of the people
  • To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development
  • 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.

8. Secretariat

  • 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.


  • Secretaries General
    • 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:-
  • Agriculture
  • Rural Development
  • Telecommunications
  • Meteorology
  • Health and Population Activities
  • Transport
  • Postal Services
  • Science and Technology
  • Sports, Arts and Culture


  • List of SAARC summits
  • 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 2007.
  • 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 zero.

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 ones .

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 August, 2008.


  • 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 issues.
  • 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 mentions terrorism.
  • 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 SAFTA.

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 Asia
  • 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.


  • The People's Republic of China
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran
  • The Russian Federation
  • Union of Myanmar
  • The Republic of South Africa


  • 1989SAARC Year of Combating Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking
  • 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 Environment
  • 2004SAARC Awareness Year for TB and HIV/AIDS
  • 2006South Asia Tourism Year


  • 1991-2000SAARC Decade of the Girl Child
  • 2001-2010SAARC Decade of the Rights of
  • of the child