Saarc Charter Day in India
Trade bloc consisting of the South Asian countries was planned and created by president Ziaur Rahman during the late 1970s. There was a meeting related to the Bangladeshi proposal held in Colombo in the year 1981 which was later accepted by the following countries Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India. The statement on the South Asian Regional Cooperation was accepted by the leaders in a meeting held in New Delhi in the month of August in 1983.
And later, on 8th of December in 1985, the leader of the Seven South Asian Countries (means Maldives, India, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladeshi and Sri Lanka) had signed the contract (means charter) in order to set up the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC was joined by Afghanistan as a Member during the 14th meeting of SAARC in Delhi in the month of April 2007.
Saarc Charter Day 2019
The 35th Charter Day of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was observed on Sunday, December 8th, 2019. On the same date in 1885, leaders of seven south Asian countries – Maldives, India, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka signed a contract of regional cooperation called SAARC.
India has distanced itself from SAARC in view of Pakistan’s unrelenting support to terrorism. The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi has written a letter addressed to the SAARC Secretariat, extending his greetings to the member countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the last SAARC summit held in Kathmandu in 2014. Since 2016, after the Uri attack, India is not attending the SAARC summit to register its opposition to Pakistan funded terrorism.
The foreign minister of Nepal and other dignitaries offered butter lamps at the Changangkha Lhakhang on the occasion of SAARC charter day. The leaders of SAARC nations, the high commissioners, ambassadors from the SAARC member countries and representatives of the SAARC bodies commemorated the day by reiterating the aims and goals of the SAARC Charter.
In 2018, the Secretary-General of the South Asian Association hosted a reception in Nepal to commemorate the 34th SAARC Charter Day. Large numbers of dignitaries, government officials, resident Ambassadors and representatives of civil society attended the function. Mr. Nanda Bahadur Pun, the Vice President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal was the Chief Guest for the occasion.
The South Asian University (SAU) commemorated the day by thanking the partner countries for their collaborative effort to form SAARC. The Prime Minister of India said that India is committed to strengthening the regional cooperation and integration of the SAARC nations.
He also added that the launch of South Asia Satellite, an extension of India’s National Knowledge Network to South Asian countries, SAU, etc are few initiatives taken by India in promoting people’s contacts and in improving the connectivity in the South Asian region.
What is SAARC
SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) is the great notion of a regional collaboration with the diverse culture, geographic and diversity of the environment. It was stated by the member of the SAARC that it is a packed together of the highest mountains, land protected mountains, low line flood (prone areas) as well as low line island country of the world. SAARC is a habitat of almost 1.5 billion people (around 22%) of the total population of the world.
What is SAARC Secretariat
The SAARC Secretariat was launched in the meeting at Kathmandu on the 16th of January in the year 1987 in order to deeply manage as well as monitor the implementation of all the activities of SAARC activities. It also has the responsibility to serve the association’s meetings and works as a communication channel between the SAARC and the international organizations. It consists of the Secretary-General, the general service staffs and the 8 directors.
Objectives of Celebrating the SAARC Charter Day
On the SAARC Charter Day, a big celebration event is held by all the members in order to raise public awareness about the government’s commitment to the SAARC process. It is also celebrated to emphasize the major activities and works of the association. SAARC Charter Day is commemorated every year by the statements of the Member States and the Secretary-General. Some of the major objectives are:
- To promote the peace, constancy, harmony, and growth of all the regions by the strict observance of the United Nations Charter and Non-Alignment principles.
- To achieve freedom, peace, economic prosperity, social progress, cultural development, and social justice by promoting the interdependent world, making good neighboring relations, increasing mutual understanding and consequential teamwork in the South Asian regions.
- To increase awareness about ordinary problems, interests, and objectives of the South Asian peoples.
- To increase the regional cooperation among the South Asian countries for the mutual benefits, welfare and well being of the people.
- To promote friendship and understanding among the people of South Asian countries by increasing the collaboration, contacts, and exchanges.
- To remind the announcements signed by the Foreign Ministers in New Delhi as well as notice the achievements in the regional cooperation.
How it is Celebrated
A three days long SAARC Folklore and Heritage Festival is held in the Chandigarh started from the 3rd of December. This occasion is arranged by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (called FOSWAL) in connection with the Ministry of External Affairs of India as well as the Administration of Chandigarh.
FOSWAL (an apex body of the SAARC) is the single authorized body among countries under SAARC, only certified for organizing the cultural programs under the banner and logo of SAARC.
The first-day festival involves program presentation by the scholars of the Folklore Academic Research Seminar. The program includes the Folk Guitar, Algozas Orchestra, Hozagiri folk dance, Kalbelia dance, Dhangad Folk Dance, Dhol Cholum Dance and etc. The evening program presents by the Sapera Been Jogis. During all three days of the festival, various renowned artists from all over the sub-continent take part in the program to spread the messages of SAARC.
A large crowd of people comes to visit the programs to know the culture and traditions of other countries through the performers. A variety of paintings, debates, and quiz competitions are also organized for the school children in association with the SAARC Disaster Management Centre.
Various awareness programs, training courses are also held for the Journalists and Teachers on the SAARC, HIV/AIDS, TB and other major disease control and prevention in Kathmandu, Nepal.