South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Association sud-asiatique de coopération régionale (ASACR)

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1985-12-08 Dhaka Bangladesh


8 Dec 1985, Dhaka (Bangladesh), on adoption of the SAARC Charter at the 1st Meeting of Heads of State or Government of 7 founder-member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) following: official proposal, 2 May 1980, by the President of Bangladesh; informal meeting of Foreign Ministers, Feb 1981, Delhi (India); official meeting of Foreign Secretaries, Apr 1981, Colombo (Sri Lanka); identification, later in 1981, of 5 broad areas for regional cooperation by a Committee of the Whole; and 1st Official Meeting of Foreign Ministers, Aug 1983, Delhi, when Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC) - or Delhi Declaration - was adopted and Integrated Programme of Action for South Asian Regional Cooperation launched in 9 selected areas. Afghanistan admitted as member of SAARC at the 14th SAARC Summit, 3 Apr 2007, Delhi.


Accelerate the process of economic and social development in member states through collective action in agreed areas of cooperation, including: Agriculture and Rural Development; Human Resource Development; Environment; Meteorology and Forestry; Science and Technology; Transport and Communications; Energy; Social Development; Poverty Alleviation.


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Summit Meeting of Heads of State or Government (annual) is the highest authority. Council of Ministers (meets twice a year), comprises Foreign Ministers of Member States and is responsible for formulating policies and considering new projects. Standing Committee (meets twice a year), comprises Foreign Secretaries of Member States and monitors and coordinates cooperative programmes. Programming Committee, consisting of senior officials of Member States. Technical Committees (6) and Working Groups (4) are responsible for individual areas of the Association's activities. Secretariat, established 16 Jan 1987, Kathmandu (Nepal), headed Secretary-General, monitors, facilitates and promotes activities and services meetings, and serves as a channel of communication between the Association, Member States and other regional and inter-governmental institutions. Secretariat Divisions (8): Media and Integration of Afghanistan (MIA); Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD); Environment, Bio-technology and Observers (EBO); Economic, Trade and Finance (ETF); Social Affairs (SA); ICT and Poverty Alleviation (IPA); Energy, Tourism and Science (ETS); Human Resource Development, Security Aspects and Culture (HTS).

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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



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** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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