Wednesday, April 28, 2010
16th SAARC Summit Starts today in Bhutan capital Thimphu
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is all set to host the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC, and Summit in its capital Thimphu. The two-day meeting, beginning today will witness the participation of the heads of state or government from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives with the host Bhutan. The SAARC is a regional forum launched in 1985 with eight countries in South Asian region.
The forum, which represents over 150 Crore people, has the mandate to work for some important areas like agriculture, rural development, health, transport, science and technology, telecommunications, meteorology, sports, arts and culture. Thimphu Summit will primarily highlight the issue of climate change and theme of the Summit will be ‘Conservation of Environment and Climate’ and also issues like poverty reduction, connectivity and sharing of water resources.
The Summit, where observers from China, Iran, Japan, Australia, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea with the European Union and United States will be present, is supposed to provide adequate space for discussion on its theme of climate change. Prior to the main Summit, the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives met on Tuesday and deliberated on a wide range of issues.
Earlier, briefing the media, Foreign Secretary Nirumpma Rao said, it is being held for the first time in Bhutan and marks the 25 years of establishment of SAARC.
Ms Nirumpma Rao said the SAARC Development Fund, SDF Secretariat, proposed by India in 2008, will be inaugurated in the forthcoming Summit. AIR correspondent reports that the Summit is also expected to endorse the rules, regulations, academic and business plans of the SAARC University in New Delhi.