Areas of Cooperation

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Meeting of the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers

At the Thirteenth SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in November 2005, the Heads of State or Government condemned terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations. They agreed that terrorism was a challenge to all States and a threat to humanity and could not be justified on any grounds. The Heads of State or Government also decided that the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers meet annually preceded by a Meeting of the Interior/Home Secretaries to strengthen cooperation in this area.

The First Meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 11 May 2006.

The Second Meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers was held in New Delhi on 25 October 2007.

The SAARC Interior/Home Ministers have discussed the matters relating to the implementation of the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol, SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances, strengthening of SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk (SDOMD), cooperation between SAARC and UNODC and ASEAN. The SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (MACM) was signed during the Fifteenth SAARC Summit in Colombo in August 2008.  Further, during the Thirty First Session of the Council of Ministers held in Colombo in 2009, A Ministerial Declaration on Terrorism was further issued.

 

The Third Meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers preceded by the Secretaries of Interior/Home Ministries, Eighth Conference on Cooperation in Police Matters, Third Meetings of Focal Points of STOMD & SDOMD and the Third  Meeting of the SAARC Immigration Authorities were held in Islamabad from 23 – 26 June 2010.

At these Meetings, the progress in the implementation of the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and the Additional Protocol, the SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the SAARC Conventions on  Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children and Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia,  were taken up for discussion and the Member States informed the Meeting on measures/actions taken/being taken by them to implement the Conventions and the Additional Protocol, including enactment of enabling legislations at the national level to give effect to the provisions of these instruments.

Further, the SAARC Ministers of Interior/Home adopted the Islamabad SAARC Ministerial Statement on Cooperation Against Terrorism (Islamabad, 26 June 2010).

In line with a decision of the Thirty-Second Session of the Council of Ministers (Thimphu, 27 April 2010), endorsing a proposal from the Leader of the Delegation of Maldives to include maritime security and piracy in the work of the Mechanism; this topic was taken for discussion at the Meeting. At the same Meeting, Government of India offered to host the Meeting of High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism in January 2011.

The Fourth Meeting of the SAARC Ministers of Interior / Home preceded by the Fourth Meeting of the SAARC Secretaries of Interior / Home and the Fourth Meeting of the SAARC Immigration Authorities were concluded in Thimphu from 21 – 23 July 2011 with participation from all SAARC Member States. Steps taken by SAARC Member States in the implementation of the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol, the SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution and the SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangement for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia were discussed at the Meeting of SAARC Ministers of Interior / Home (Thimphu, 23 July 2011). At this Meeting, the Ministers also considered and recommended the Reports of the Fourth Meeting of SAARC Immigration Authorities (Thimphu, 21 July 2011) and the Report of the Fourth Meeting of SAARC Secretaries of Interior / Home (Thimphu, 22 July 2011). For the first time in the history of SAARC, matters related to Maritime Security and Piracy were taken up for discussion among the Ministers and due recommendations were made on the steps to be taken by Member States, which are to be discussed in the forthcoming Meetings of Ministers of Interior / Home and related Meetings.

The Fifth Meeting of the SAARCMinisters of Interior / Home preceded by the Fifth Meeting of the SAARC Secretaries of Interior / Home and the Fifth Meeting of the SAARC Immigration Authorities will be held in Maldives in 2012.