Nepal, the founding member of the SAARC, has underlined the need of further strengthening and accelerating this regional forum which recently celebrated the 33rd year of the signing of the SAARC Charter, to meet the aspirations of people of the region to see development and improvement in their living standard.
Addressing the 54th SAARC Programming Committee Meeting kicked off at the SAARC Secretariat here from today, Committee chair and Chief of Regional Organisation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mani Prasad Bhattarai, spoke out the essentiality of implementing the decisions made the Association and its subordinate bodies on time. He was of the view of making the SAARC activities people-oriented, calling for cooperation and coordination among the member states for its further progress and prosperity.
Likewise, also speaking on the occasion, SAARC Secretary-General Mr Amjad Hussain B. Sial said the SAARC member states had made sustained endeavours to reinvigorate the SAARC process.
“The eighth meeting of the Interior or 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 in this year,” he informed the meeting.
However, a number of SAARC activities had to be postponed due to lack of adequate confirmations for participation. In our view, we should rationalize 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, according to him.
The two-day meeting will discuss about the budget issues of the SAARC Secretariat, SAARC five regional centers and four specialised bodies. A total of 50 people are taking part in the event.