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SAARC Charter Day 2023 – December 8

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SAARC Charter Day - December 8 2023The 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 2023 marks the observance of the 39th SAARC Charter Day.

About SAARC: 

i.SAARC is an economic and political organization of 8 countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

ii.It was established by the adoption of the SAARC Charter during the first summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 7–8 December 1985.

iii.The SAARC Charter Day has been observed on 8th December since 1985.


SAARC Charter Day was observed by the member states, SAARC Secretariat, SAARC Regional Centres and SAARC Specialized Bodies by organizing various dedicated programmes to promote awareness about SAARC and to enhance South Asian identity and solidarity within the region.


i.Initially, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka signed the SAARC charter in 1985.

ii.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.

About SAARC Charters: 

The SAARC Charter has 10 articles that deal with the Objectives, Principles, Organisation, Meetings, Secretariat, and Financial Arrangements of SAARC.


  • To promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life
  • To promote collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.
  • To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries.
  • To cooperate with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes.

Click here for the full text of the SAARC Charter

SAARC Summit: 

i.SAARC Summits are usually held biennially and hosted by a Member State in alphabetical order

ii.The Member State hosting the Summit assumes the Chair of the Association.

iii.The last SAARC summit, the 18th SAARC Summit was hosted by Nepal in 2014.

iv.The 19th summit was set to be hosted by Pakistan in 2016.

  • The summit was cancelled after India refused to participate following the attack on an Indian army camp in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan.

Specialized Bodies of SAARC: 

  • SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO) was established during the 13th Summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005 and came into effect on 2nd July 2007.
  • SAARC Development Fund (SDF) was also established during the 13th Summit.
  • South Asian University (SAU)–  the agreement to establish SAU was signed during the 14th Summit held in New Delhi, Delhi (India) in 2007.
  • SAARC Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) was established during the 15th Summit held in 2008 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It came into effect in 2011.

About the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC):
Secretary-General– Golam Sarwar (Bangladesh)
SAARC Chairmanship– Nepal
Secretariat– Kathmandu, Nepal
Established in 1985