Implement SAARC commitments: MoFA

Kathmandu, September 5

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged all line ministries to work towards executing the decisions taken during the 18th SAARC Summit, which was held in Kathmandu in November last year.

In a follow up meeting held at the MoFA yesterday, Officiating Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi stressed the need for a regular follow up and implementation of decisions made by the summit.

“As we have made international commitments, it would be our duty to help implement the decisions, fulfill the obligations and promote regional cooperation,” he said during a meeting attended by representatives the line ministries.

Representatives from the finance ministry, trade and commerce ministry, health ministry, children and social welfare ministry, home ministry, poverty alleviation ministry, education ministry, youth and sports ministry, among others, had attended the function, according to a statement issued by the MoFA.

Since the Kathmandu Summit, Nepal has led the eight-nation bloc and the country has to show its leadership by fulfilling its own pledges and obligations as well as encouraging other member-states to follow suit.

The Kathmandu Declaration issued after the two-day jamboree of South Asian leaders aims to strengthen connectivity, trade and investment; check cross border crimes and terrorism among the member states.

During the meeting, Officiating Foreign Secretary Bairagi urged all government stakeholders to give priority to implementing the SAARC commitments.

The meeting had also reviewed progress made so far since last November. Though the member countries had pledged to endorse a regional Motor vehicle Agreement for seamless travel of private and passenger vehicles in SAARC region within three months of the Summit, a meeting of SAARC transport ministers has yet to be held, partly due to Pakistan’s failure to complete its internal procedure and the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25.

An Action Matrix, developed by the MoFA in line with the 18th SAARC Summit Declaration, was presented during the programme.