Nepal calls for making SAARC result-oriented

Kathmandu, December 12

Nepal, the current chair of and founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, has stressed on further strengthening the regional forum, which recently celebrated the 33rd year of the signing of its charter, to meet the aspirations of people of the region.

Addressing the 54th SAARC Programming Committee Meeting that began at the SAARC Secretariat here today, Committee Chair and Chief of Regional Organisation Division at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mani Prasad Bhattarai said the decisions taken by the association and its subordinate bodies needed to be implemented urgently.

He also called for making SAARC activities people-oriented and sought cooperation and coordination among member states for the same.

SAARC Secretary-General Amjad Hussain B Sial said member states had made sustained endeavours to reinvigorate the SAARC process. “The eighth meeting of the home ministers and the sixth Meeting of Health Ministers were held in Colombo in July 2017. The informal meetings of the Council of Ministers and the Finance Ministers were also held respectively in May and September this year. Several other meetings of the SAARC bodies have been held this year,” he said.

However, a number of SAARC activities had to be postponed due to lack of confirmation for participation.

“We should rationalise the work of SAARC mechanisms as directed by our leaders. But, once we agree to the calendar of activities, these should be held as planned for smooth, efficient and effective progress in the SAARC process,” he added.

The two-day meeting will discuss budget issues of the SAARC Secretariat, five regional centres and four specialised bodies.