32nd session of SAARC Council of Ministers concludes

08:48, April 28, 2010      

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The 32nd session of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Council of Ministers has concluded here on Tuesday finalizing two major agenda to pass at the 16th summit to be held on April 28-29 in Thimphu, capital of Bhutan.

The meeting held between foreign ministers from the SAARC member got convinced by the recommendation passed by the 37th session of Standing Committee meeting on signing of two major agreements at the summit, said Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, Officiating Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bhutan.

The 37th session of the Standing Committee on Monday recommended on signing of two deals-Agreements on Convention and Cooperation on Environment and Climate Change and Agreement on Trade in Service among member states.

Addressing the press briefing right after the meeting, Wangchuk who is also the Chairman of SAARC Council of Ministers informed journalists that they reviewed on implementation part of decision made during the 15th summit in Sri Lanka in 2008 and 31st session of Council of Ministers' which was also held in Sri Lanka on February 2009.

During the 15th summit held in Sri Lanka, the major points were made on establishing of SAARC Development Fund and creating SAARC Food Bank.

According to SAARC Secretary General Sheel Kant Sharma, the Food Bank is in operation while the meeting held on Tuesday has appointed the Chief Executive Officer of SAARC Development Fund based in Bhutan and it will be inaugurated on Wednesday.

According to Wangchuk, the 16th SAARC summit has especial significance which will conclude on April 29 issuing the "Silver Jubilee Thimpu Declaration". The declaration will commemorate 25th Silver Jubilee of SAARC, he said.

The Standing Committee meeting was preceded by the 38th session of the Programming Committee meeting of senior officials from SAARC member states on April 24.

Founded on Dec. 8, 1985, there are eight member countries in SAARC -- Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan joined the ally during 14th SAARC summit held in New Delhi, India in April 2007.

Similarly, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, United States of America, Iran, Mauritius, Australia, Myanmar and the European Union have joined SAARC as an "observers".

Source: Xinhua


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