The idea of a regional association in
Following consultations amongst the countries of the region, the Foreign Secretaries of the seven countries met for the first time in
The first SAARC Summit was held at
The main objectives of the Association are to promote the welfare of the people of
The activities of the SAARC are planned and regulated through various organizations. The highest decision making authority in the SAARC rests with the Heads of the States/Govts. They meet once a year or more often as and when necessary. The council of Ministers meets twice a year and is, interalia, responsible for formulation of policy. The standing Committee comprising Foreign Secretaries meets as often as deemed necessary and reviews progress of SAARC activities, approves projects and programmes and decides on the modalities of their financing. Technical Committees are responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the programmes besides identifying new areas of cooperation arid preparation of projects.
The integrated programme of action constitutes the overall activities undertaken under the aegis of SAARC. The respective Technical Committees take due notice of the implementation of the programme of action. With the endeavors of these Committees, various regional institutions have been established while a few are under active consideration of respective Technical committees.
Since establishment of SAARC eleven Summit Meetings have been held in different member countries which is clear manifestation of determination of the Govts. of the member countries to cooperate regionally, to work together towards the solution of their common problems in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding and to the creation of an order based on mutual respect, equality and shared benefits.
At the twelfth SAARC Summit the focus is on issues pertaining to regional cooperation, social charter, eradication of poverty, science and technology, human resource development, agriculture, information and trade relations between the regional countries. Date of Issue (January 04, 2004)