South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Subject: Social Studies

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Overview

The formation of an association to work together is a very important step forward for everyone in the region.SAARC came into existence formally on 8th December 1985. This note has information about SAARC.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

The full form of SAARC is South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The member countries of SAARC are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In spite of being so different, the countries are linked by location, climate, poverty, largely rural population and by the possibilities of various damaging disputes about trade and resources. So, the formation of an association to work together is a very important step forward for everyone in the region. The association came into existence formally on 8th December 1985 when the Heads of State or Government of the seven countries (except Afghanistan) signed the Charter at their first summit meeting at Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Principles of SAARC

The following are the principles of SAARC: -

  • Sovereign equality
  • Territorial integrity
  • Political independence
  • Non-interference in internal affairs
  • Mutual benefit
  • Exclusion of conventions and bilateral issues
  • Unanimous decisions

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Aims of SAARC

The following are the aims of SAARC: -

  • To improve the quality of life of all South Asian people.
  • To speed up economic growth.
  • To enable countries to trust and understand each other.
  • To collaborate in culture, law, technology, education, economy, etc.

Meetings

The Heads of State or Government have Summit Conference in a different country each year. Foreign ministers of all member countries (Council of Ministers) meet twice a year to oversee and develop ideas and policies. The Standing Committee of Foreign Secretaries does the detailed planning and implementation. Technical Committees (experts sent by respective member nations) control the areas of IPA.

IPA's(Integrated Programmes of Action)

In various sectors, the SAARC countries cooperate by sharing information and training and ideas and joint ventures. The sectors are agriculture, rural development, telecommunications, meteorology, health and population, transport, postal services, science and technology, women in development, prevention of drug trafficking and drug abuse, education, sports, art and culture.

SAARC's funding programme

The member countries of SAARC contributes fund for its administration and programmes. The contribution made by India is 30.32%, Pakistan is 22.52%, Nepal Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is 10.72% each, and Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives is 5.0% each. The outside contributors for SAARC funding are SAARC-Japan Special Fund, South Asian Development Fund (SADF), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP).

SAARC Secretariat

The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu in 1987. It is situated at Thamel. It is the headquarter of SAARC and is used for many meetings. It arranges for main meetings and communicates with the other international organizations. The Secretariat is the office of the Secretary General, the chief executive, who is appointed on the nomination of the concerned country for a term of 3 years.

Things to remember
  • SAARC stands for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
  • The member countries of SAARC are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • The Heads of State or Government have Summit Conference in a different country each year.
  • The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu in 1987.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
Videos for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
Establishment of SAARC and it's History
SAARC !
What is Saarc?
Questions and Answers

SAARC decides the sectors of mutual cooperation. The sectors include agriculture, communication, education, culture and sport, health, environment, population and children welfare, drug abuse and trafficking, rural development, science and technology, tourism, transport, women's participation in development, eradication of poverty, trade and economic co-operation, etc. The seven countries other than Nepal are

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Maldives
  • Afghanistan.
Nepal is benefitted a lot through SAARC in following ways:
  • There is increase in trade, import and export activities raising the national economy.
  • It has received free trade system.
  • There is good culture exchange.
  • The problems of Nepal are being recognized at common platform of SAARC and is tried to solve through united effort.
  • Nepal has been able to get aid and donations through SAARC for development and maintenance.
  • Nepal through SAARC has been internationally recognized.
  • Nepal hosts many of SAARC meetings in conferences as the SAARC headquarters is in Nepal. Thus, Nepal is the central figure among SAARC countries.
The purposes of SAARC establishment are:
  • To promote the welfare of the people of south Asian and to improve the quality of life.
  • To speed up economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.
  • To collaborate and assist in the economic, social, culture, technical, scientific and environment problems.
  • To enable countries to trust, understand and appreciate each other's problem.
  • To strengthen co-operation among themselves in international forums of matters of common interests.
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