News:India’s Defence minister has said that the full potential of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) has not been utilised due to behaviour of Pakistan.
- The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka in 1985.
- It comprises of eight Member States namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- The Secretariat of SAARC is in Kathmandu,Nepal.
SAARC Specialized Bodies:
SAARC Development Fund(SDF):
- The fund was established in 2010,It is located in Thimphu,Bhutan.It is a comprehensive funding mechanism with the provision of three Windows namely Social, Economic and Infrastructure.
South Asian University:
- South Asian University(SAU) is an International University sponsored by the Member States of SAARC.It was established in 2010 and is located at New Delhi,India.
South Asian Regional Standards Organization(SARSO):
- It was established in 2011 with its headquarters at Dhaka,Bangladesh.It aims to harmonize standards and promote cooperation in the fields of metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment for enhancing the capacity of the respective national institutions.
SAARC Arbitration Council:
- It was established in 2007 with its headquarters at Islamabad,Pakistan.It mandated to provide a legal framework/forum to resolve cost-effective settlement of disputes via arbitration within the region.