A BRIEF ON SAARC | india | Hindustan Times
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A BRIEF ON SAARC

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established when its Charter was formally adopted on 8 December 1985 by the Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and SriLanka.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2005 03:40 IST

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established when its Charter was formally adopted on 8 December 1985 by the Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and SriLanka.

The Association provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. It aims to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.

Cooperation in the SAARC is based on respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, noninterference in internal affairs of the Member States and mutual benefit.

Summits, which are the highest authority in SAARC, are to be held annually. The country hosting the Summit holds the Chair of the Association. Pakistan which hosted the Twelfth Summit in January 2004 is the current Chairperson of the Association. The Thirteenth Summit is scheduled to take place in Bangladesh in January 2005.

The Secretary General is assisted by seven Directors on deputation from Member States.

The SAARC Secretariat and Member States observe 8 December as the SAARC Charter Day.