14th SAARC Summit ends adopting 30-point declaration

14th SAARC Summit ends adopting 30-point declaration

By Gopal Khanal

NEW DELHI, April 4 - The 14th SAARC Summit held in the Indian capital of New Delhi Wednesday concluded adopting a 30-point declaration, which includes formation of a modality to fight against terrorism in the South Asian region.

Stressing the need to collectively overcome the challenges of poverty, disease, natural disasters and terrorism, the Heads of States or government during the Summit confirmed that countries of South Asia must work together to deal with these challenges in order to secure the region’s collective prosperity.

The SAARC members also underlined that terrorism is a threat to peace and security in the region. They reaffirmed their commitment to implement all international conventions relating to combating terrorism, to which SAARC Member States were respectively parties, as well as the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and the Additional Protocol to the SAARC Regional Convention dealing with the prevention and suppression of financing of terrorism. While urging continued efforts to combat terrorism, the Heads of State or Government also called for urgent conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, the Declaration says.

The SAARC members also expressed satisfaction at the launching of 2007 as the 'Year of Green South Asia.'

The leaders of the SAARC nations also expressed appreciation over the offer of the Maldives to host the 15th Summit Meeting of the Heads of States or Governments of the South Asian Association for the Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The South Asian regional members also welcomed the People’s Republic of China, Japan, European Union, Republic of Korea and the United States of America, to be associated as Observers to SAARC.

Recognition to the full benefits of an integrated multimodal transport system in the region was also agreed. The SAARC members emphasized that this would not be realized unless physical infrastructure and matters relating to customs clearance and other facilitation measures, including multimodal transport operations, were addressed comprehensively. They called for an extension of the SAARC Regional Multimodal Transport Study (SRMTS) to include Afghanistan as well.

Stating that the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) was an important pillar that would bring concrete benefits to the people of the region, the members directed that the SDF be made operational at the earliest. They also agreed that the resources for SDF would be mobilised both from within and outside the region.

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