Saarc Charter Day

Press Release: 35th SAARC Charter Day Message


To commemorate the signing of the SAARC Charter on 08 December 1985, the Thirty-fifth Charter Day of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was celebrated in all Member States of SAARC.


The Heads of State/Government/Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States of SAARC issued special messages to commemorate the SAARC Charter Day.


H. E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) hosted a Reception this evening to mark the SAARC Charter Day.


The Rt. Hon. Vice President of Nepal graced the Reception with his august presence as the Chief Guest.


Several high-ranking officials of the Government of Nepal, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Regional and International Organizations in Kathmandu as well as friends of SAARC attended the function. A large number of media personnel were also present on the occasion.


In his Address, the Secretary General greeted the people and the Governments of the Member States of SAARC on the auspicious occasion of the Thirty-fifth SAARC Charter Day.


The Secretary General said that SAARC was created to promote welfare of the peoples of South Asia and improve their quality of life. He added that since its inception in December 1985, SAARC had made steady progress in promoting regional collaboration in priority areas. “We should continue to work strenuously to achieve the coveted objectives enshrined in the Charter, as well as the goal of the South Asian Economic Union (SAEU), as envisioned by our leaders,” he said.


He emphasized that improved intra-regional connectivity is sine qua non for effective regional integration, including for promoting economic relations, people-to-people contacts and tourism. “In this context, we sincerely hope that the three important agreements for improving intra-regional connectivity will be finalized soon,” he said.


He said that SAARC progressed steadily during 2019, adding that five ministerial meetings were convened, besides many other SAARC activities. He stated that the year also witnessed the operationalization of the Economic and Infrastructure Windows of the SAARC Development Fund, in addition to the Social Window, which has been operational since 2010. During the year, SAARC’s Specialized Bodies and Regional Centres also remained very active in pursuance of their mandates, he said. Besides, SAARC’s collaboration with regional and international organizations progressed well. “We are also working on substantive project-based collaboration with observers of SAARC,” the Secretary General said.


Since this was his last Charter Day Reception that he hosted in Kathmandu, he thanked the Member States for their continued support and cooperation in the discharge of my responsibilities. He also thanked the esteemed Government of Nepal, as the current Chair of SAARC and host of the SAARC Secretariat, for its valuable support to the SAARC process and the Secretariat.


In the reception, a cultural troupe presented glimpses of music of the Member States of SAARC.


Kathmandu, 09 December 2019

Press Release - Commemoration the Thirty-fourth SAARC Charter Day (08 December 2018).


H. E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), hosted a Reception this evening to commemorate the Thirty-fourth SAARC Charter Day (08 December 2018).


Rt. Hon. Mr. Nanda Bahadur Pun, Vice President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, was the Chief Guest of the occasion.


A large number of dignitaries and officials from the Government of Nepal, leaders of political parties, resident Ambassadors, heads of regional and international organizations, representatives from civil society and business community, as well as professionals from various fields attended the function.


In his Welcome Remarks, the Secretary General expressed sincere gratitude to the Rt. Hon. Vice President for gracing the event with his august presence. He also welcomed the guests to the function.


In his address, the Secretary General said, “Over the last thirty-three years, SAARC has made steady progress toward socio-economic development in the region, which is fundamental to the promotion of the welfare of the peoples and improving their quality of life.”


He further stated, “Endowed with vast human and natural resources, South Asia has immense potential. With sustained endeavours, we will surely be able to realize the region’s fullest potential. Essentially, therefore, SAARC is the beacon of hope and aspiration, and a matter of pride for all South Asians. SAARC is our common identity, our inspiration and our future.”


The Secretary General extended warmest felicitation to the peoples and Governments of the Member States on the auspicious occasion of the Thirty-fourth SAARC Charter Day.


During the First Summit in Dhaka, the Heads of State or Government adopted the Charter of SAARC on 08 December 1985, marking the beginning of a new era of regional cooperation in the history of South Asia.


Established with the primary objective of promoting the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and improving their quality of life, SAARC promotes regional collaboration in almost every aspect of development activity having a bearing on the life and livelihood of the peoples of the region.

Kathmandu, 07 December 2018

Press Release - Messages by the leadership of the Member States of SAARC on the auspicious occasion of the Thirty-fourth SAARC Charter Day.


The Thirty-fourth Charter Day of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is being commemorated on 08 December 2018 in all Member States of SAARC.


Among other things, it has been customary for the Heads of State and/or Government or the Ministers for Foreign/External Affairs to issue messages to commemorate the Charter Day.


Attached are special messages issued by the leadership of the Member States of SAARC on the auspicious occasion of the Thirty-fourth SAARC Charter Day.

Encls: a.a.


SCD Messages from HoS

Kathmandu, 07 December 2018

33rd SAARC Charter Day Messages


Message from Afghanistan

Message from Bangladesh

Message from Bhutan

Message from India

Message from Madives

Message from Nepal

Message from Pakistan

Message from Sri Lanka

Message from the Secretary General

SAARC Charter Day



The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) celebrated its Twenty-ninth Charter Day today. The Charter establishing the Association was signed on 8 December 1985 by the SAARC Heads of State or Government during their first-ever Summit meeting in Dhaka, the initiative for which was spearheaded by late President Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh.

To mark the Day, the Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States issued special messages, vouching their unwavering support and commitment to the SAARC process. SAARC is the regional body that aims to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through regional cooperation in mutually agreed areas. SAARC today caters to almost every sphere of human activity.

All the Member States, Regional Centres and Specialized Bodies of SAARC commemorated the Charter Day by organizing dedicatory events. At the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu, H. E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC, hosted a Reception to mark the Day. The occasion brought together high-ranking officials, resident Ambassadors, civil society representatives, business community and a large number of media personnel, among others The Reception also had the presence of Heads of SAARC Divisions in the Ministries of Foreign/External Affairs of SAARC Member States, who are in Kathmandu to attend the Forty-fourth Session of the Programming Committee that opens at the SAARC Secretariat tomorrow.

The Secretary-General addressed the gathering present on the occasion. At the behest of the Secretary-General, the attending guests also observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to late President Nelson Mandela.

On the occasion, the Secretary-General conferred upon the SAARC Youth Award for the year 2011 to Mr. Mohamed Faseen Rafiu of the Maldives in recognition of his outstanding contribution to society under the theme of “Youth Leadership in the fight against social ills.” The Award, which carries a cash prize of US $ 3000, a gold medal and a citation, was instituted in 1994 in order to recognize the extra-ordinary young talents in the region. So far, 11 such awards have been given away to the youth from within the region. Rafiu is the first recipient of the Award from the Maldives.

            Concluding his Address at the Reception, the Secretary-General said, “As we mark the Twenty-ninth SAARC Charter Day today, I would like to extend warm felicitations to the people and Governments of our Member States. Let us today recommit ourselves to strengthen SAARC to meet the growing expectations of our peoples in the region.”

Message from SAARC Secretary General on the occasion of 28th SAARC Charter Day


On the auspicious occasion of the Twenty-eighth Charter Day of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), I am pleased to extend my warm felicitations to the people and Governments of our Member States.


Founded in December 1985, SAARC is the manifestation of the collective will of our Member States to promote regional cooperation and integration in order to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life. 


Although SAARC commenced with a few areas of regional cooperation at its inception, the ambit of engagement among its members continued to grow by every passing year.  Indeed, SAARC today stands to cater to many diverse areas of regional cooperation, with the establishment of a number of inter-governmental mechanisms and institutions. More than anything else, SAARC has continued to serve as a common platform to address the common issues facing our region, thereby building mutual trust and confidence among one another.  In addition, through its diverse activities over the past twenty-seven years, SAARC has been able to forge a distinct South Asian identity and a culture of peace, cooperation and partnership for the collective benefit of our people.


Devoted to the theme, Building Bridges, the Seventeenth Summit held in Addu City, Maldives, in November 2011, provided the renewed vigor and dynamism to the agenda of cooperation being pursued by the Association, particularly in the crucial area of intra-regional connectivity. Acting upon the directive of the Seventeenth Summit, an inter-Governmental mechanism is currently engaged with the preparatory work to launch the Indian Ocean Cargo and Passenger Ferry Service involving India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. In the meanwhile, Member States are vigorously pursuing the finalization of the Regional Railways Agreement and the Motor Vehicles Agreement. Furthermore, SAARC is also contemplating conducting a demonstration run of a container train among Bangladesh, India and Nepal. With the coming into fruition of these important initiatives, I am confident that intra-regional trade will grow substantially, paving the way for the South Asian Economic Union, as envisioned by our Leaders at their successive Summits.


As we mark the Twenty-eighth Charter Day today, all of us must be proud of the significant achievements SAARC has made over the years. The South Asian Free Trade Arrangement (SAFTA), the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) and the South Asian University (SAU) are some of the notable achievements that deserve particular mention here. This is also a befitting occasion for all our countries to reaffirm their commitment to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter for the common good of the peoples that SAARC represents.

SAARC Charter Day Celebration on 8 Dec 2012


The Twenty-eighth SAARC Charter Day was celebrated today at the SAARC Secretariat premises in Kathmandu.


On invitation of H.E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary- General of SAARC, the occasion was graced by Rt. Honourable Mr. Paramananda Jha, Vice President of Nepal and Honourable Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha “Prakash”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal.  


H.E. Mr. Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Foreign Secretary of Nepal, other high Government dignitaries, Heads of Missions, Ambassadors, other dignitaries, media personnel and all SAARC Secretariat officials were also present at the occasion.


H.E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary- General of SAARC in his welcome address briefly highlighted the achievements of SAARC in the last twenty-seven years and said that SAARC strives to become more people centric in its future endeavours.


Press Conference on the eve of 28th SAARC Charter Day at the SAARC Secretariat


H.E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC hosted a press conference at the SAARC Secretariat premises in Kathmandu on occasion of the 28th SAARC Charter Day, which is celebrated tomorrow, 08.12.2012. The press conference was attended by a number of representatives from national and international media institutions.


Mr. Dhan Bahadur Oli, Director – Information and Poverty Alleviation opened the press conference and H.E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC briefed the media personnel on developments within SAARC since the 17th SAARC Summit which was held in Addu City, Maldives on 10 – 11 November 2012.


His Excellency outlined the achievements within SAARC, inter alia, in trade & finance, environment and climate change, education, poverty alleviation, development and transport.


The briefing of His Excellency was followed by an interactive session with media personnel present in which Directors representing the eight SAARC Member States provided updates on areas of cooperation within SAARC.


Marathon on the occasion of SAARC Charter Day - 8th December 2011


SAARC Secretariat, in collaboration with National Sports Council of Nepal, is organizing a Marathon (a total distance of 8 km only) in Kathmandu to commemorate the 27th SAARC Charter Day on 8th December 2011 in which all the members of diplomatic community based in Kathmandu have been invited to participate. SAARC Secretariat welcomes for public participation and women are especially encouraged to take part in the event.

The route of the Marathon will be SAARC Secretariat- Durbar Marg-Kamaladi-Nepal Academy- Ram Shah Path-Singha Durbar-Mandala, Thapathali-Tripureshwor-Sundhara-Kanti Path-Mahankal-Bir Hospital- Jamal- SAARC Secretariat, Thamel. Those who are interested to participate in the Marathon are requested to register at the SAARC Secretariat by 4.00 pm,   7th December 2011 and arrive at the SAARC Secretariat at 6.45 am sharp on the 8th December. Participants should be physically fit to run the distance of 8km. The registration can be done at email or Tel.4221694.

The Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7 am at the SAARC Secretariat and terminate at the SAARC Secretariat premises, Thamel, approximately at 9 am.  A special programme will be organized at the Secretariat at 9 .15 am on the same day to give away prizes to the winners of the Marathon in presence of the Secretary General and other distinguished guests. Refreshments will be served to all participants during the programme.


Event Programme

Day/Date:  Thursday/8 December 2011

Gathering of participants:    06:45 a.m.

Gathering point :  SAARC Secretariat, Tri Devi Marg, Kathmandu

Start Time:    7:00 a.m.

Expected Finishing Time: 9:00 a.m. at the SAARC Secretariat, Thamel, Kathmandu

Prize Distribution, followed by refreshment:     9:15 a.m.

Marathon Route    SAARC Secretariat- Durbar Marg-Kamaladi- Nepal Academy- Ram Shah Path- Singha Durbar- Mandala, Thapathali- Tripureshwor- Sundhara- Kanti Path- Mahankal- Bir Hospital- Jamal- SAARC Secretariat, Thamel. 

Total Distance    8 Kilometers (approximate)

Expected Participation    200 participants

Registration     Mr. Shabbir Ahmed, Ph: 4221694,