We are trying to make SAARC active: Foreign Secretary Paudyal

Published On: January 8, 2023 05:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 8: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that efforts are on to activate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bharat Raj Paudyal said that Nepal, in its capacity as the chair of the SAARC, is trying to make the regional forum active.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Concern and Coordination Committee under the National Assembly on Sunday, Secretary Poudyal also explained that the regional body could not be made active due to the lack of consensus among all member states.

Secretary Paudyal reminded that there is a basic principle that SAARC can be progressed only with the agreement of all member countries and that is why efforts to activate SAARC have not been fruitful.

He said, "We are chairing the SAARC. However, there are places where processes have not progressed. This multilateralism and regionalism have certain constraints. One of them is that when we formed SAARC, we agreed on a fundamental principle while defining the charter of SAARC. That means nothing moves forward until everyone agrees on any issue. Basically, it cannot be the same. The role of the chair of SAARC is nothing special. We are only one among the eight member states. That's why efforts are being made on this.”

The SAARC includes Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan as member countries. According to Foreign Secretary Paudel, SAARC can be made active only with the agreement of all member states.


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