Press Release

Inauration of Symposium on Best Practices in Poverty Alleviation in South Asia 2013

The Symposium on the Best Practices in Poverty Alleviation opened in Kathmandu today.

Organized by the SAARC Secretariat in collaboration with the United Nations Development Proramme (UNDP) under the SAARC-UNDP Partnership Programme, the Symposium brings together the government representatives and community beneficiaries from all the Member States and the representatives of SAARC’s development partners, among others, to discuss the core issues related to poverty alleviation in the region.

A large number of high ranking officials of the Government of Nepal, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and regional and international organizations in Kathmandu, representatives of civil society and business community and media personnel attended the Inaugural Session organized at Hotel Radisson this morning.


Delivering the Welcome Address at the Inaugural Session of the Symposium, H. E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC recapitulated the initiatives taken by SAARC in reducing poverty in the region. In his address, he made particular references to the directives of the successive SAARC Summits in the area of poverty alleviation. Highlighting the objectives of the Symposium, the Secretary-General stated, “The primary purpose of the Symposium is to facilitate the sharing of the best practices in poverty alleviation and to develop strategies to upscale these practices individually or collectively to eradicate poverty from our region.” He further said, “Following the deliberations at the Symposium, the Compendium on the best practices in poverty alleviation will be published by the SAARC Secretariat.”

Rt. Hon. Khil Raj Regmi, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Nepal, inaugurated the Symposium. In his Address, he brought to the fore the ongoing efforts of Nepal in alleviating poverty at the national level.  

On the occasion, the Rt. Hon. Chairman of the Council of Ministers also launched the SAARC Regional Poverty Profile, 2009-10.  The Profile is aimed at sharing of the best practices and experiences towards poverty alleviation in the region.

Hon. Dr. Rabindra Kumar Shakya, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission of Nepal chaired the Inaugural Session.  In his address, the Vice Chairman highlighted the vision of the Planning Commission towards poverty alleviation in Nepal.

Hon. Mr. Saumitra Chaudhuri, Member of the Planning Commission of India also addressed the Inaugural Session. In his Address, the Member apprised the participants about the success stories of India in poverty alleviation.

Other speakers at the Inaugural Session included Dr. Ponna Wignaraja, Chairman of the South Asian Perspective Network Association of Sri Lanka and the Vice Chairman of the Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation; and Ms. Caitilin Wiesen, Manager, UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre, Bangkok.

In January 2004, the Twelfth SAARC Summit declared poverty alleviation as the “overarching goal” of SAARC. Since then, the Association has undertaken several measures to free South Asia from poverty. 

SAARC currently observes the decade, 2006-2015, as the SAARC Decade of Poverty Alleviation.