The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter Day is annually observed on December 8 to mark the adoption of the SAARC Charter on 8th December 1985 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- 8th December 2022 marks the observance of the 38th SAARC Charter Day.
i. SAARC was formally established when the SAARC Charter was adopted on 8th December 1985 by the Heads of State or Governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the 1st SAARC Summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
ii. Since 1985, December 8 has been commemorated as the SAARC Charter Day.
i. The charter was signed at the First SAARC Summit by the Leaders of SAARC Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
- Afghanistan was admitted as the 8th Member of the SAARC during the 14th Summit held in New Delhi, Delhi(India) on 3rd-4th April 2007.
ii. The SAARC Charter has 10 articles that address the SAARC’s Objectives, Principles, Organisation, Meetings, Secretariat, and Financial Arrangements.
- SAARC Summits- 18 summit meetings of SAARC Heads of State or Governments have been placed so far.
- The last SAARC Summit (18th SAARC Summit) was held in 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
SAARC Specialized Bodies:
- SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO)- established in the 13th Summit
- SAARC Development Fund (SDF)- 13th Summit
- South Asian University (SAU)- 14th Summit
- SAARC Regional Standards Organization (SARSO)- 15th Summit
i. SAARC was established in 1985 and the Secretariat of the Association was set up in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 17th January 1987.
ii. It aims to promote regional stability, peace, and progress.
Some of the Objectives of the SAARC Charter:
- to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life;
- to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia;
- to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems;
About the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC):
Secretary-General- H.E. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon (Sri Lanka)
SAARC Chairmanship- Nepal
Secretariat- Kathmandu, Nepal