SAARC Full Form
The Full Form of SAARC is South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which is a regional cooperation that works on sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
SAARC was established on December 8, 1985, after an agreement was signed as the SAARC charter in Dhaka.
This idea wasn’t a work of a day or a year- it was first proposed back in 1980 in November. The idea of regional cooperation in South Asia was proposed and implemented on December 8, 1985.
It was according to the seven founding countries (India, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). This was after consultations that the foreign secretaries worked on the same.
- These countries- India, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka met for the first time in Colombo. This was back in April 1981 that was conducted comprehensively among the countries.
- Update- Afghanistan has become the newest member of SAARC. This was in the year 2005 that happened after the 13th annual summit.
- Headquarters and Secretariat were in the association at Kathmandu in Nepal.
Principles of SAARC
- SAARC is a corporation that has made a comprehensive framework based on political independence, sovereign equality, non-interference, and territorial integrity.
- SAARC is based on the principles of internal affairs. These are based on states and mutual benefits that work coherently.
- SAARC is not a substitute for bilateral and multilateral corporations. The corporation is also obliged to complement them.
- SAARC is also not inconsistent with the multilateral and bilateral obligations.
Members of SAARC
There are 8 members in the SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, including Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
There are nine observers of SAARC, including China, the European Union, Australia, Iran, the Republic Of Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Mauritius, United States of America.
Areas of Cooperation
SAARC works comprehensively among different areas, including social affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development, Human Resource Development and Tourism, Environment, Natural Disasters and Biotechnology, Economics, Information and Poverty Alleviation, Trade and Finance, Energy, Transport, Science and Technology, and Education, Security, and Culture and Others.
Objectives of SAARC
Organizations can only work with objectives; hence there are specific missions and requirements that SAARC aims to serve.
The following are the objectives of SAARC-
- SAARC is set to promote the welfare of people, including the quality of life throughout South Asia.
- SAARC is set to accelerate economic growth. This also includes social progress and regional developments. SAARC provides all South Asians to live with dignity and realize their full potential.
- SAARC works to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance in South Asia.
- SAARC contributes to mutual trust, including appreciating and understanding other people’s problems.
- SAARC promotes active social, cultural, economic, scientific, and technical collaborations along with mutual assistance.
- SAARC strengthens cooperation among other developing countries and themselves in international forums. These include the common interests across the nations.
- SAARC includes international and regional organizations with the same perspective, goals, and aims.
Principal Organs of SAARC
- The heads of state and government meetings are held at a summit level. These are usually annually based and mandatory.
- A standing committee of foreign secretaries provides comprehensive monitoring and coordination. These included determining priorities, mobilizing resources, and approving projects and finances.
- There is a SAARC secretariat established in Kathmandu. It coordinates and monitors all the activities related to SAARC. These include the meetings (internal and external).
- It comprises the secretary general, general services staff, and seven directors to govern things. The SAARC secretariat makes sure that there is open communication between internal and international organizations.
- The Council of ministers appoints the secretary general of the SAARC.
Work So Far
- SAARC has 3% of the world’s area, which makes up 21% of the world’s population. It contributes to 3.8% of the global economy.
- SAARC works to create synergies among the most populated regions. They also have countries with the same dress, food, traditions, culture, and other political aspects.
- SAARC countries have the same problems. These are related to poverty, illiteracy, natural disasters, malnutrition, industrial and internal conflicts, and technological backwardness. These counties also have low GDP and poor socio-economic conditions.
- SAARC works on the same by creating common areas of development among the nations.