SAARC trys to start regional forum

15:15, April 27, 2011      

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In the first of its kind since its inception, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is now trying to start a new avenue, a regional forum, according to local media Wednesday.

Bringing the governmental and non-governmental top-notches on board, SAARC, which had been mostly confined to inter-governmental exchanges on issues to drive the regional body - is going to start a new avenue called "South Asia Forum" that was endorsed in last year's 16th Summit in Thimphu, Bhutan.

The forum could eventually be modeled on existing successful initiatives of a similar nature such as the Boao Forum for Asia based in China, the World Economic Forum based in Davos, Switzerland and the Asia Pacific Roundtable based in Australia, said the Kathmandu based SAARC Secretariat.

According to Wednesday's The Kathmandu Post, representatives from all walks of life constantly engaging in SAARC process, such as academicians, intellectuals, business fraternity, media representatives, and civil society and even marginal government representatives are ensured in the forum's composition.

"The forum will discuss and provides inputs to the highest officials about the future course of SAARC," spokesperson at SAARC Niranjan Basynet said.

The first steering committee meeting of the forum is going to take place in New Delhi, India, on April 28 which will finalize the agenda of the first meeting of the forum, venue, and participants and identify the theme of the meeting.

Founded in 1985, the SAARC includes Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Source: Xinhua
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