Arjun B. Thapa, Secretary-General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), hosted a Reception this evening to commemorate the Thirty-first SAARC Charter Day.
Nanda Babadur Pun, Vice President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal graced the occasion as Chief Guest.
Since the establishment of the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu in 1987, it has been customary for the Secretary-General to host such an event every year to mark the Charter Day.
The Reception organized at Hotel Radisson in Kathmandu to mark the Thirty-first SAARC Charter Day brought together several Ministers, Secretaries and high officials from the Government; Heads of Diplomatic Missions, and regional and international organizations based in Kathmandu; representatives of civil society; entrepreneurs from the business community; and people from various walks of life.
SAARC was launched at the first-ever Summit meeting of the Heads of State or Government held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, following a series of brainstorming sessions among the Senior Officials, Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Ministers of its Member States. As defined in its Charter, the principal objectives of the Association are to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic cooperation, social progress and cultural development in the region.
SAARC is a regional organization born out of the consciousness that in an increasingly interdependent world, the objectives of peace, freedom, social justice and economic prosperity are best achieved in the South Asian region by fostering mutual understanding, good neighbourly relations and meaningful cooperation among the Member States, which are bound by ties of history and culture.
SAARC has witnessed eighteen Summit meetings so far, with the last one held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in November 2014, under the theme, Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity. Pakistan will play host to the Nineteenth SAARC Summit during the last quarter of 2016.
SAARC comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as members.