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South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Origin of SAARC: The idea of the SAARC was first mooted in 1979 by former Bangladesh President Zia-ur-Rehman, during his visit to Sri Lanka, with the objective of forming an association on the lines of the EEC or ASEAN.

Date of Formation: December 8, 1985 at Dhaka

Members: The seven SAARC members are: (i) Bhutan, (ii) Bangladesh, (iii) India, (iv) The Maldives, (v) Pakistan, (vi) Nepal, and (vii) Sri Lanka.

Purpose:

(i) To promote the welfare of the people of South Asia

(ii) To improve the environment of security in the region

(iii) To accelerate economic growth and cultural development

(iv) To combat terrorism

Secretariat: The permanent Secretariat of the SAARC was opened at Katmandu on January 16, 1987 by King Birendra of organization.

First Secretary General:  Mr. Abul Ahsan, a senior diplomat of Bangladesh took over as the first Secretary General of the organization.

First SAARC sumit: The first meeting of the SAARC was opened in Dhaka on August 12, 1986 by the then Bangladesh President (Lt Gen H M Ershad) who took over as the first Chairman of the SAARC.

First SAARC summit in India: India hosted the second SAARC summit  in New Delhi in November 1986 when former Prime Minister, lat e  Rajiv Gandhi, took over as Chairman.

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