South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Prepared By: Arslan Ahmed Atif Alvi Ali Khan Zahid Mehmood Ali Rahman Aneeqa Ejaz
SAARC is an eco-political organization of 8 South Asian nations, which was established on 8 December 1985 for friendship and cooperation among themselves and with other developing countries. Covering a population of more than 2 billion, SAARC is the largest regional organization in the world.
Idea of regional cooperation in South Asia was discussed in atleast three conferences: 1-the Asians Relations Conference in New Delhi in April 1947 2-the Baguio Conference in the Philippines in May 1950, 3-the Colombo Powers Conference in April 1954 The first concrete proposal for establishing a framework for regional cooperation in South Asia was made by the late president of Bangladesh, Zia-ur-Rehman, on May 2, 1980. Established on 8 December 1985. Its seven founding members are Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, political equality and independence of all members states. Non-interference in the internal matters. Cooperation for mutual benefit. All decisions to be taken unanimously. All bilateral issues to be kept aside and only multilateral issues to be discussed.
Welfare of the people of south Asia. Economic growth, social progress and cultural development . Strengthen selective self-reliance among the countries of south Asia. Understanding and appreciation of one anothers problems. Strengthen cooperation among themselves as well as with other developing countries and international and regional organizations Maintain peace in the region.
1. Afghanistan ( joined the organization in 2007)2. Bangladesh3. Bhutan4. India5. Maldives6. Nepal7. Pakistan8. Sri Lanka
1. Australia2. China3. European Union4. Japan5. Iran6. Mauritius7. Myanmar8. S. Korea9. USA
Myanmar has expressed interest in upgrading its status from an observer to a full member of SAARC. Russia has expressed interest in becoming an observer of SAARC. OTHERS South Africa has participated in meetings.
At the top, there is the Council represented by the heads of the government of the member countries. The council is the apex policy making body. It meets once in 2 years time.
** It is to assist the council. It is represented by the foreign ministers of the member countries. Its functions include: Formulation of policies Review of functioning Deciding new areas of cooperation Chalk out additional mechanism Decide about general issues of common interests of the SAARC members.
** It is comprised by the foreign secretarian of the member government. Its major functions are: To monitor and co-ordinate the programmes To determine inter-sectored priorities To mobilize cooperation within and outside the region To deal with the modalities of financing.
** It consist of the senior official of the member governments. Its functions include: Scrutinizing the budget of the secretariat Finalizing the annual schedule External activities assigned by the standing Committee Analyses the respects of the technical committee.
**It consist of the represented of the member nations. Its function are: To formulate project and programmes To monitor and execute the projects To submit reports. Cover Areas like Agriculture, Communication, Environment, Rural Development, Health and Population, Science and Technology, Tourism and Transport
** The SAARC secretariat is located in Nepal. The secretariat is headed by the secretary-General appointed by the Council of Ministers. Its function include: Coordination, execution and monitoring of SAARC activities Servicing the SAARC meetings Works as communication link between the SAARC and other international forums.
Agriculture & Biotechnology Trade & Finance Education Information , Communication & Media Science & Technology Energy & Environment Tourism & Social Development Culture People-to-People Contacts
The acceleration of economic growth is a Charter objective of SAARC. Corporation in core areas of trade and finance b/w the SAARC members in 1991. The following important processes of SAARC are promoting cooperation in the field of Trade, Economy and Finance Customs Cooperation South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) (Custom Duties down to 20%) SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA)
The dispute over Kashmir’s accession to India has been standing in the way of the lasting peace and prosperity of the Indian subcontinent as well as SAARC.
Agreement for establishment of SAARC Arbitration Council Final Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation Final Agreement on Customs Matters CHARTER OF SDF 31 July 2008 Agreement on establishing the SAARC food bank Agreement on south Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Agreement on the Establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation
Ministerial Declaration on Global Economic Crisis Colombo Statement on Children of South Asia Declaration on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism Islamabad Declaration on Health, 2005 Colombo Declaration on a Common Environment Program Common Position on Climate Change, Nov. 1998 Rawalpindi Resolution on Children of South Asia, Aug. 1996 New Delhi Declaration of Environment Ministers, Apr, 1997 Declaration of Commerce Ministers May 1998
SAARC Convention on Combating and Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution The purpose of this Convention is to effectively deal with the various aspects of prevention and suppression of trafficking in women and children and to prevent the use of women and children prostitution networks. Convention on Promotion of Welfare of Children The purpose of this Convention is to promote cooperation amongstMember States so that they take effective steps for the welfare ofchildren.
Convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters and Suppression of TerrorismThe States Parties shall provide widest possible measuresof mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, namelyinvestigations, prosecution and resulting proceedings. SAARC Convention Narcotics DrugsImportant steps have been taken to enforce theprovisions of the Regional Convention on NarcoticDrugs.
1st Summit (Dec 1985):Venue: Dhaka Reaffirmation of the UN Charter and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Concern over the global economic crisis. Declaration of belief in the objectives and the continued relevance of the Non Aligned Movement. Expression of concern over the poverty in the SAARC region and commitment to improving social and economic conditions
2nd Summit (1986):Venue: Bangalore Rehash of the goals and statements of the first summit. Strengthening of ties between member states. Condemned terrorism.3rd Summit (1987):Venue: Kathmandu Decision to initiate study of natural disasters and its after-effects. Expression of satisfaction over progress in implementation of IPA. Call for increased people to people contact and greater NGOs participation.
4th Summit (1988)Venue: Islamabad Expression of outrage over attempted coup in Maldives and declaration of support to her government. 1989 declared as the “SAARC Year Against Drug Abuse.” 1990 declared as the "SAARC Year of the Girl Child". Launch of "SAARC-2000-A Basic Needs Perspective".5th Summit (1990):Venue: Male Decision to build the SAARC Tuberculosis Centre and the SAARC Documentation Centre in Bangladesh and India respectively. Declaration of the period 1991-2000 as the “Decade of the girl child”.
6th Summit (1991):Venue: Colombo. Decision to establish an independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation. Approval for the Inter Governmental Group to be set up.7th Summit (1993):Venue: Dhaka Commitment to end poverty in South Asia by 2002 through a set of strategies known as the “Agenda of Actions.” Appreciation for the first ever South Asian festival of SAARC Countries held in 1992. The festival promoted culture.8th Summit (1995):Venue: Delhi 1994 marked as the SAARC Year of Youth. 1996 marked as the SAARC Year of Literacy.
9th Summit (1997):Venue: Male 1997 designated the "SAARC Year of Participatory Governance" . Agreement to study the social compulsions that lead to child labour.10th Summit (1998):Venue: Colombo Decision to setup a committee of experts to aide in the formulation of SAFTA. Directive for the formulation of SAARC’s social charter issued.11th Summit (2002):Venue: Kathmandu12th Summit (2004):Venue: Islamabad
13th Summit (2005):Venue: Dhaka 2006-2015 declared as the “Decade of Poverty Alleviation”. Agreements signed related to customs assistance, arbitration and tax assistance.14th Summit (2007):Venue: Dehli SAARC Agenda for Culture launched. South Asian university to be established in India.15th Summit (2008):Venue: Colombo.16th Summit(2010):Venue: Thimpu Agreement to form the South Asia Forum.17th Summit (2011):Venue: Addu Citty Declarations and endorsements.
Meetings held between the ministers ofmember states of various portfolios.More than 30 such meetings have beenheld.
Rawalpindi Resolution: August 1996 Related to the issue of children rights. Declaration of safeguarding of rights of children to an education plus curbing child labor.Environment Ministers meeting: April 1997 Reaffirmation of goals of international conventions. Proposal for environmental safeguarding of South Asian seas.
Commerce Minister’s Meeting: May 1998. Held in Geneva right after the WTO ministerial meeting. Joint statement demanding the rights of developing nations.Islamabad Declaration: July 2005 Related to health issues. Agreement to setup Expert Group on Population to aide sharing of expertise and experience related to population issues. Emphasis laid on achieving the MDGs and on allocating a larger share of GDP on health related matters.
Cooperation in Counter Terrorism: Colombo 2009. Ratification and implementation of SAARC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Establishment of High Level Group of Eminent Experts.
SAPTA(SAARC preferential trading arrangement)was signed on 7 December, 1995 SAFTA(South Asian Free Trade Area) was signed in Islamabad in January 2004 SAARC chamber of commerce and industry (SCCI) SAARC constitutes South Asian Development Fund(SADF) Signed an agreement of mutual assistance. Avoidance of double taxation were signed.
Agriculture Rural development Science and technology Health Transport Sports Arts Culture and Population activities
Till 2013 going to establish a common university for education in Delhi POVERTY ALLEVIATION Regional food security essence Promoted global objective of shelter for all.
Convention on terrorism was signed in November,1987 SAARC convention on narcotic drugs signed on November, 1990 SAARC terrorist offences monitoring desk(STOMD) SAARC drug offences monitoring desk(SDOMD)
• SAVE (SARRC Audio Visual Exchange) was implemented.• Library of SAARC• Talks between countries leads to the diffusion of tension
India tries to dominate the function and activities of SAARC Large variety of different political system Large variety regional and cultural differences They lack financial resources and advance technologies Involvement of external actors
Internal problems constituting social economic and developmental and growth issues. Bilateral disputes and differences Food Security Reserve failed to meet the need of Bangladesh Suffers from an acute resource crunch