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SAARC member countries adopt Kathmandu Declaration


Nov 28, 2014

SAARC member countries adopt Kathmandu DeclarationThe member countries of SAARC adopted the Kathmandu Declaration that underlines commitments and determination of member countries to deepen regional integration for peace, stability and prosperity.

The Kathmandu Declaration is a list of decisions and commitments from the member countries to intensify connectivity, trade and security, among others, in the region.

The leaders committed to enhance support to least developed and landlocked countries so that the free trade agreement benefits all countries. They agreed to implement the preferential facilities under SAFTA.

They also agreed to strengthen the SAARC Development Fund.

The leaders also committed to free South Asia from poverty.

It also directed relevant SAARC bodies to finalise the establishment of the regional Vaccine and Livestock Gene Banks.

Education Ministers of the eight countries were also advised to develop a Regional Strategy for enhancing the quality of education.

India offered to develop and launch a satellite dedicated to SAARC countries.

Other declarations include tourism promotion, culture preservations, and the need for effective cooperation among all member countries to fight terrorism.

Meanwhile, the member countries also signed a landmark agreement on Energy Cooperation. The SAARC member countries would now be able to realise the common benefits of cross border electricity exchanges and trade.

Under the agreement, member countries will work towards exemption of export and import fees for cross border trade and exchange of electricity and enable knowledge sharing.

After the SAARC Secretary General issues a notification to enforce the agreement, regional projects in the areas of power generation would be identified.

The agreements on freeing up road and rail movement will be taken up in a six month time frame.

The 19th SAARC Summit will be held in Pakistan.

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