Press Release

Press Release- Informal Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers, 24 September 2020


The Informal Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers was held in virtual mode today. 

Hon’ble Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, chaired the Informal Meeting, attended by the Hon’ble Ministers of Foreign/External Affairs of all the Member States of SAARC. 

In his opening remarks, the Chair underscored the importance of collective efforts for strengthening regional cooperation to cope with the emerging challenges posed by the global pandemic. In this context, he emphasized the need to reinvigorate the SAARC process to make it more focused and result-oriented in meeting the hopes and aspirations of the people of South Asia.

In their country statements, the Hon’ble Ministers of Foreign/External Affairs apprised the Council about the status of implementation of SAARC decisions as well as initiatives taken at the national level to fight the challenges posed by the pandemic. The Hon’ble Ministers also emphasized the need to work collectively to overcome the adverse impacts of the pandemic in the region. In this context, they appreciated the initiative of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in convening the SAARC Leaders’ Video Conference on COVID-19 in March this year. They also reviewed the subsequent regional initiatives undertaken to fight against the pandemic. 

H. E. Mr. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, Secretary General of SAARC, also addressed the Informal Meeting. In his address, the Secretary General presented a progress report on regional cooperation since the last informal meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers. Referring to the SAARC Charter, he stated that SAARC holds the potential to promote effective regional cooperation in every sphere of development, including for addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic.


 Kathmandu, 24 September 2020