Press Release

The Fifth Meeting of SAARC Council of Experts of Energy Regulators-Electricity (CEERE) was hosted by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on
14-15 November 2023, in Islamabad. The Meeting was held with the support of the Asian Development Bank.

 

The Meeting was inaugurated by Mr. Waseem Mukhtar, Chairman, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Government of Pakistan. In his inaugural address, the Chief Guest extended a warm welcome to the delegates from SAARC Member States, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) and other Energy Related Institutions.

 

The Chief Guest, in his address, stated that SAARC is home to more than 20% of the world population and offers more potential for regional cooperation than any other region in the world. Given the geographical proximity, there is a great potential for SAARC Member States to collaborate in a number of areas, including energy. He said that a lot needs to be done in the electricity market for availability of reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity.  He emphasized on the need to harmonize the laws/rules/regulations in order to achieve the objective of cross-border electricity trade. He also underscored that cross-border trade of electricity can be helpful in improving electricity access in the region and play a major role to overcome challenges to sustain rapid economic growth.

 

The Heads of Delegations of the Member States presented an overview of the energy sector of their respective countries with focus on the legal and regulatory framework, power import/export status, power trading arrangements, guidelines and priority projects for cross-border trade of electricity, potential interconnections, challenges/barriers for power trading and way forward for energy security and regional energy cooperation and integration. The Delegates also highlighted the status of market readiness and expressed willingness for promoting Regional Energy Trade.

 

The SAARC Council of Experts of Energy Regulators (Electricity) was formed in 2016 with focus on the role, functioning and performance of electricity regulators in the perspective of cross border power trading in South Asia. Overall aim of the Council is to provide enabling regulatory environment for materializing SAARC Energy Ring through implementation of the SAARC Framework Agreement on Energy Cooperation (Electricity).

 

SAARC Secretariat

Kathmandu, 15 November 2023


H. E. Mr. Md. Golam Sarwar, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) paid a courtesy call on Hon’ble N. P. Saud, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Chair of the SAARC Council of Ministers, today. The Council comprises distinguished Foreign Ministers of the Member States of SAARC.

The Hon’ble Foreign Minister congratulated the Secretary General on his appointment and wished him every success during his tenure. He expressed the confidence that SAARC will make further progress, given the Secretary General’s vast knowledge and experience as a career diplomat of Bangladesh.

The Hon’ble Foreign Minister underscored the need to give further momentum to the SAARC process in attaining the objectives, as enshrined in the Charter.

During the meeting, the Secretary General conveyed heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Nepal over the recent tragic earthquake in Western Nepal, which took lives of many people and caused colossal damage to properties.

The Secretary General expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of Nepal for endorsing his nomination as the fifteenth Secretary General of SAARC. He appreciated the constructive role played by Nepal to strengthen SAARC since its inception. He lauded the initiative of Nepal to host the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu. He thanked the Government of Nepal for extending every support to the SAARC Secretariat since its establishment.

The Secretary General praised the sustained efforts of Nepal, as current Chair of SAARC, in steering the SAARC process.  He looked forward to receiving continued support and guidance from the Government of Nepal in reinvigorating the SAARC process for the common good of peoples in the region.

In response and referring to the potential of SAARC of delivering prosperity to the region, the Hon’ble Minister reiterated the commitment of Nepal to re-energize the SAARC process, together with the Member States, to achieve this common objective. 

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SAARC Secretariat,

Kathmandu, 09 November 2023


H.E. the Secretary General of SAARC, Ambassador Golam Sarwar had a luncheon meeting with H.E. Mr. Ahmed Khaleel, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives on 29 October 2023 at Kathmandu. Also present at the meeting were Maldivian Foreign Secretary H.E. Mr. Ahmed Latheef, Assistant Director of Foreign Ministry Ms. Aishath Fareen, and Directors at the SAARC Secretariat.

 

 

At the outset, the Secretary General thanked the esteemed Government of Maldives for its support to his appointment and expressed his profound gratitude for its enduring support for regional cooperation. Further, the Secretary General Sarwar underscored that he will make every endeavour to meet the expectations of the esteemed Member States for the shared prosperity of South Asia. After briefing on impending SAARC related matters with the esteemed Government of Maldives by the Secretary General and his Directors to the Maldivian delegation, Secretary General Sarwar underscored the urgent need to immediately start the pending meetings and activities for re-energizing the SAARC process and to win the trust and confidence of the peoples across the region and to enable it to effectively deliver on the hopes and aspirations of teeming millions in the region.

 

 

The State Minister of Maldives felicitated Ambassador Sarwar on his appointment as the fifteenth Secretary General of SAARC and expressed the hope that his vast diplomatic experience and expertise in the bilateral and multilateral arena will bring new spirit in the SAARC process. During the meeting, the State Minister re-assured Maldives’ full support for the Association in all its endeavours and re-affirmed his solidarity and commitments for SAARC process.   Referring to the tradition for the Secretaries General to pay introductory visits to SAARC capitals, he invited the Secretary General to visit the Maldives in a mutually convenient time in the near future.

 

29 October 2023

SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu


His Excellency Ambassador Golam Sarwar from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh assumed duties at the Secretariat as the Secretary General of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on 25 October 2023, upon the approval of SAARC Council of Ministers. Ambassador Golam Sarwar is the Fifteenth Secretary General of SAARC and the third Secretary General from the Government of Bangladesh.

Addressing the Staff of the Secretariat at a welcome reception, His Excellency Ambassador Sarwar conveyed his gratitude to the esteemed Member States for the opportunity given to him to serve the Association. He further emphasized the need to raise the profile of SAARC and highlighted the need to engage actively and effectively to serve the esteemed Member States to accomplish the entrusted important mandates to the Secretariat. In this regard, he soughed continued support from the esteemed Member States.

As a career diplomat Ambassador Sarwar belongs to the 10th batch of Bangladesh Foreign Service. Joining the Foreign Service in 1991, he has served extensively in different capacities both at home and abroad. Prior to this assignment, he served as Bangladesh Ambassador to Malaysia, Sultanate of Oman and Sweden, with concurrently accredited to Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. He has also served as the Consul General of Bangladesh in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His illustrious diplomatic career also includes several important diplomatic assignments in Bangladesh Missions abroad such as Yangon, Kuala Lampur, Kathmandu and Washington D.C. In his long diplomatic career, Ambassador Sarwar represent Bangladesh in numerous occasions in various Regional and International Forums.

His assignments in Dhaka also include several key appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs such as Assistant Secretary, Director/ Deputy Chief of Protocol and Director General.

Born in July 1966, Ambassador Sarwar holds a Master of Commerce/Business Degree from the University of Dhaka. He had Advanced diplomatic training in Germany. He is married to Ms. Taslima and blessed with two sons.


28 October 2023

SAARC Secretariat Kathmandu, Nepal