South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Established: By charter signed December 8, 1985, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Purpose: “[T]o promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life;… to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia;… to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields;… and to co-operate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.”

Headquarters: Katmandu, Nepal.

Principal Organs: Meeting of Heads of State or Government, Council of Ministers, Standing Committee, Programming Committee, Secretariat.

Web site:

Secretary General: Chenkyab Dorji (Bhutan).

Membership (8): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

Observers (5): China, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, the United States.

Origin and development. Prior to the formation of SAARC, South Asia ...

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