Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saarc gets 1st female secretary general

The 33rd Saarc Council of Ministers Meeting has unanimously endorsed former Maldivian Attorney General Aishath Dhiyana Saeed as the first ever female Secretary General of the eight-nation regional body.

The nomination was approved by the Council of Ministers, which is comprised of the foreign ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (Saarc) countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, at its meeting in Thimphu on February 8-9.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni led Bangladesh delegation at the meeting, which was preceded by meetings of the Saarc Programming Committee and Saarc Standing Committee in Thimphu.

Dhiyana would become the first female and the youngest Secretary General of Saarc when she takes office on March 1, replacing the current Indian diplomat, Sheel Kant Sharma.

Dhiyana is the second Maldivian to be appointed the Saarc Secretary General, after special envoy to the President Ibrahim Hussein Zakee, who served as the Secretary General from January 1, 1992 to December 31, 1993.

Saarc was founded in December 1985 with seven members: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan joined the organisation in 2007. Maldives will host the next 17th Saarc summit in November or December of this year.


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