ADDU City, Maldives, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — The two-day 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit concluded here on Friday with the adoption of the Addu Declaration.
The declaration, jointly adopted by the eight SAARC member states, reaffirms their commitment to peace, confidence building, liberty, human dignity, democracy, mutual respect, good governance and human rights.ts.
Founded in 1985, the SAARC is an organization of eight South Asian nations, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
The declaration reviews their commitment to alleviate poverty and reduce income inequalities within the societies and reaffirms their resolve to improve quality of life and well-being of their people through people-centered sustainable development.
In the declaration, SAARC member states show their concerns about the continuing threat of terrorism in all its forms, manifestations, and transnational organized crimes, especially illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, trafficking in persons and small arms, and increased incidents of maritime piracy in the region. They also reiterate their resolve to fight all such menaces.
The declaration says that the countries are aware the environmental degradation and particular vulnerabilities of the region to the threat of climate change and recognize the need to further strengthen the institutional mechanisms of SAARC in order to bolster and enhance regional cooperation.
Foreign ministers from SAARC member states have signed the agreements on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters, Multilateral Arrangement on Recognition of Conformity Assessment, Implementation of Regional Standards and Seed Bank.
The theme of the 17th SAARC Summit is “Building Bridges”– both in terms of physical connectivity and figurative political dialogue.
Chairman of the 17th SAARC Summit, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed announced that the 18th SAARC Summit will be held in Nepal.
During the two-day summit, leaders from SAARC member states and heads of delegations from its observers delivered their speeches.
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