Nepal | May 20, 2019

SAARC Summit will now be held in every alternate November

Lekhanath Pandey
Saarc foreign secretaries at SAARC standing committee meeting

Foreign secretaries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation members (sitting) pose for a photograph during the SAARC Standing Committee meeting, in Pokhara, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Photo: RSS

POKHARA: If a recommendation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Standing Committee is anything to go by, the regional body will hold its Summit in every alternate November now onward.

The Standing Committee, comprising foreign secretaries of eight member nations, on Wednesday decided to recommend the SAARC Council of Ministers to make the decision in order to make the jamboree regular.

The Council of Ministers is holding its 37th session in Pokhara on Thursday.

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Speaking at a press conference after conclusion of the Standing Committee meeting today, Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi, who had chaired the meeting, said the recommendation would be made in a bid to ensure the SAARC Summit in every two years regularly.

As the United Nations General Assembly opens on the third Tuesday of every September, the decision would help the South Asian regional body become more effective in its agendas of regional cooperation, he added.

It has already been 31 years since SAARC was established, but it has only hosted 18 Summits.

It was agreed to hold the Summit every year in the beginning. The 18th Summit, held in Kathmandu in November 2014, had decided to stretch the interval upto two years.

Bairagi said secretaries of the member nations are holding discussions to find an all-agreeable date for the Summit before the Council of Ministers meeting will begin tomorrow.

Discussions on 32 agendas

Bairagi informed that the Standing Committee held discussions over 32 agendas.

All the foreign secretaries have agreed to rectify regional agreements made so far and begin its implementation, according to the official.

 


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