Pandemic underlines need for collaboration among SAARC member states, says PM

KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 8

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has extended warm greetings and best wishes to all the people and member states of the SAARC on the occasion of the 36th Charter Day of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

In his message today, PM Oli said the SAARC Charter characterised South Asia’s shared vision, collective resolve and mutual pursuit in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region through eradication of poverty, accelerated economic growth and advancement in socio-cultural development. He also said that SAARC had achieved several important milestones as a common forum for promoting mutual understanding and cooperation in the region in its journey of thirty-six years.

PM Oli said, “As we commemorate the Charter Day, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge affecting not only health and economy but also social life and livelihoods in the region and beyond. The situation underlines the importance of more concerted efforts, collaboration and cooperation among the member states of SAARC to collectively emerge from the pandemic.”

The prime minister stated that time had come to move forward with concrete action in the ground with needed political will and commitment. “Giving fresh impetus to the stalled SAARC process, including through the early convening of the Summit can rekindle hope among our people and provide ground to move forward,” he added. He wished that the special day would inspire all of us to foster mutual trust, understanding and cooperation as well as to deepen regional integration for peace and prosperity.

At the first SAARC Summit in Dhaka, the heads of state or government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka adopted the SAARC Charter on 8 December 1985, reaffirming their resolve to promote regional collaboration under the auspices of the association. Afghanistan became the eighth member of SAARC in April 2007.

SAARC was formed primarily to promote welfare of the people of South Asia and improve their quality of life.