Subject: Social Studies
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.
The following are the principles of SAARC: -
The following are the aims of SAARC: -
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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