On Charter Day, Nepal PM calls for early restart of 19th SAARC summit

Written By: Saloni Murarka WION
Kathmandu Published: Dec 08, 2021, 05:17 PM(IST)

(File photo) Sher Bahadur Deuba Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

The Nepal Prime Minister called for all nations to recommit to promote a stronger, 'more effective and result-oriented SAARC grounded in cooperation, trust and understanding'. The 19th Summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 15-16, 2016, but it was cancelled due to "political reasons"

On the occasion of the 37th Charter Day of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday called for the early convening of the 19th summit while emphasising the need to revitalise the South Asian grouping. 

The SAARC observes December 8 each year as the establishment day of the regional body.

The 19th Summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 15-16, 2016, but it was cancelled due to "political reasons". 

Issuing a statement as the SAARC chair, the Nepal Prime Minister called for all nations to recommit to promote a stronger, “more effective and result-oriented SAARC grounded in cooperation, trust and understanding”. 

Referring to the challenges and vulnerabilities posed by COVID-19, Deuba said, “With new COVID-l9 variants still marching across the world, the current pandemic continues to intensify the pre-existing challenges and pose new vulnerabilities in our region. This has made the need to reembrace regional understanding and solidarity more critical now than ever before. We must strive towards deeper regional integration with a focus on resilient recovery and building back better.”

Deuba underlined the need to drive the regional process with a forward-looking perspective. “We must revitalize the SAARC process through an early convening of the 19th Summit.”

The prime minister stated that the SAARC charter was a blueprint of regional cooperation and partnership and that some notable progress was made towards promoting the welfare of the people in South Asia. 

“As the current Chair and founding member of SAARC, Nepal is fully committed to the vision, principles and objectives of its Charter. We will continue to play a constructive role to enable the Organization to deliver wider benefits for the peoples of the region,” the statement said. 

Earlier in September, Nepal Foreign Ministry issued a statement, announcing that due to lack of concurrence from all the member states, the informal meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers proposed to be held in person on September 25 on the sidelines of 76th UNGA will not take place.  

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