Introduction to SAARC

In the late 1970’s, president Ziaur Rahman, proposed the creation of trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The Bangladeshi proposal was accepted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during meeting held in Colombo in 1981. In August 1983, the leaders adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation during a summit which was held in New Delhi

The heads of Seven South Asian Countries of SAARC (Bangladeshi, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) signed the charter to establish the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on December 8th, 1985.

Afghanistan joined SAARC as a Member at the Fourteenth SAARC Summit, Delhi, April 2007.

SAARC is unique concept of regional cooperation. with very distinct geographical, cultural, environmental diversity, the SAARC member states compress of the worlds highest mountains, land locked mountains terrains to deltaic low line flood – prone areas and one of the smallest low line island nation in the world.

With the world’s most populous country, SAARC is home to nearly 1.5billion people or about 22% of world’s population

SAARC Secretariat

The SAARC secretariat was established in Kathmandu on 16th January 1987. It’s role is to coordinate and monitor the implementation of SAARC activities, service the meetings of the association and serve as the channel of communication between SAARC and the international organization

The secretariat comprises the Secretary General, Eight Directors and the general service staffs.

On the SAARC Charter Day all member states hold celebration rise public awareness of the commitment of governments to the SAARC process and to highlight some of the principal activities and the work of the association. Statements are issued by the Member States and the Secretary General to commemorate SAARC Charter Day.

SAARC Conventions

SAARC Convention on Combating and Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution

Convention on Promotion of Welfare of Children

Convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters, July 2008

SAARC Conventionon Narcotics Drugs

SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism

Additional Protocol on Terrorism, Jan 2004


  • 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 Organisation (SARSO)
  • Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation

SAARC Summit

The Charter (Article III) provides that the Heads of State or Government “shall meet once a year or more often as and when considered necessary by the Member States”.

However, the Summit has generally been convened at an interval of one and half year or so. The next i.e. Sixteenth Summit of the Heads of State or Government would be held at Thimphu on 28-29 April 2010.

Summit Declarations provide directives and mandate for regional co-operation. Following are the past Summit Declarations:

  • First SAARC Summit, Dhaka, 1985
  • Second SAARC Summit, Bangalore, 1986
  • Third SAARC Summit, Kathmandu, 1987
  • Fourth Summit, Islambad, 1988
  • Fifth SAARC Summit, Male’, 1990
  • Sixth SAARC Summit, Colombo, 1991
  • Seventh SAARC Summit. Dhaka, 1993
  • Eighth SAARC Summit, New Delhi 1995
  • Ninth SAARC Summit, Male’, 1997
  • Tenth SAARC Summit, Colombo, 1998
  • Eleventh SAARC Summit, Kathmandu, 2002
  • Twelfth SAARC Summit, Islamabad, 2004
  • Thirteenth SAARC Summit, Dhaka, 2005
  • Fourteenth SAARC Summit, New Delhi, 2007
  • Fifteenth SAARC Summit, Colombo, 2008
  • Sixteenth SAARC Summit, Thimphu, 2010

Ministerial Declarations

  • 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 Programe
  • 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

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