SAARC International Relations
COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL
SAARC-UNCTAD Memorandum of Understanding on the Trade Analysis and
Information System (TRAINS) was signed in February 1993. The global aim
of TRAINS is to increase transparency in international trading
conditions and thus facilitate trade.
This was the first Agreement of cooperation to be signed by SAARC
with an international organisation. Under this Agreement, UNCTAD
provides the SAARC Secretariat, on a regular basis, an updated copy of
TRAINS CD-ROM containing latest data on trade control measures
prevailing in developed and developing countries.
The SAARC Secretariat in turn updates trade control measures
prevailing in the SAARC member states on a regular basis and forwards
the same to UNCTAD Secretariat, on computer floppies for incorporation
in the updated versions of TRAINS CD-ROM.
SAARC Secretariat has now data on trade control measures prevailing
in 50 countries including most of the SAARC member countries. The target
of UNCTAD is to include latest trade control measures of 100 countries
of the world in this PC-based information system. This information is
available to SAARC member states on request.
A Framework Agreement for cooperation between SAARC and ESCAP was
signed in February 1994.
The Agreement provides for cooperation on development issues through
joint studies, workshops and seminars and exchange of information and
documentation in poverty alleviation, human resource development, trade
promotion, foreign direct investment, environmental protection and
prevention of drug trafficking, infrastructure development etc.
SAARC Secretary-General has attended two Consultative Meetings of the
Executive Heads of Subregional Organisations in Asia and the Pacific and
ESCAP (Bangkok 1994 and Jakarta 195).
The Secretary-General also participated in the Meeting of Eminent
Persons on Human Resources Development organised by ESCAP Secretariat in
Bangkok (November 1994).
A Cooperation Agreement between SAARC and UNICEF, was signed on 10
December 1993. The Agreement envisages cooperation in implementing the
relevant SAARC decisions relating to Children through an annual agenda
which include joint studies, exchange of documentation and monitoring of
In pursuance of the Cooperation Agreement, the SAARC Secretariat and
the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia have been holding regular
consultations, which have covered progress in the implementation of
Summit directives on Children and the recommendations of the Council of
Ministers, Standing Committee and the relevant Technical Committees.
The consultations focus on all child related issues including the
Annual Review of the Situation of Children in the SAARC Countries;
implementation of the Colombo Resolution on Children; Plan of Action to
mark 1991-2000 A.D. as the SAARC Decade of the Girl Child; the serious
threat faced by Girl Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (GCEDC);
mid-decade goals on Children emanating from the World Summit for
Children (1990) and certain aspects of the United Nations Convention on
the Rights of the Child.
The regular interaction between SAARC and UNICEF has facilitated
better understanding of problems faced by Children in South Asia and
regional policies and strategies to meet these challenges.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by SAARC
Secretary-General and Executive Director of Asia Pacific Telecommunity (
APT) on February 4 1994.
The MOU envisages cooperation between the two organisations to
promote the growth of telecommunications in order to accelerate economic
and social development in the region. SAARC and APT will exchange
information, publications and documents on their respective activities
in this field.
They will also exchange technical and operational details of plans
for improvement of national, regional and international
Collaboration is also envisaged in planning and development of
networks, transfer of technology, promoting international standards,
development of human resources and application of telecommunications in
sectors such as health, education, environment, transport, and tourism.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SAARC and UNDP was signed
by the SAARC Secretary-General and Administrator of UNDP in July 1995.
The MOU embodies a general agreement for broad-based collaboration
with the aims and purposes of promoting sustainable human development
for attaining poverty elimination, preservation and protection of
environment, regeneration of natural resources, employment creation, and
the goals of women in development; undertakes periodic consultation for
joint activities; publishing studies on priority concerns and exchanging
SAARC Secretary-General and United Nations International Drug Control
Programme (UNDCP) Executive Director signed an MOU on 18 August 1995 to
coordinate their efforts in combating drug trafficking and drug abuse in
the region. The Memorandum envisages mutual consultation and exchange of
information between the two organisations.
In addition, the two organisations have agreed to seek each other's
technical cooperation in pursuing their respective drug control
activities in areas of drug supply and demand reduction to assist in the
development and implementation of such activities as human resource
development; improving regional cooperation on drug intelligence through
the SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk; legislation; financial
investigation; money laundering; precursor control; the establishment of
a networking arrangement among existing institutions in drug abuse
7. COLOMBO PLAN
SAARC has also entered into cooperation arrangement with the Colombo
Plan Bureau for promotion on the Role of SAARC NGOs in anti-narcotic
activities. In this context, representative of NGOs from seven countries
attended a meeting of the SAARC Forum on the role of NGOs in Drug Demand
Reducation in Dhaka on 10-13 April 1995.
Efforts are also underway to establish a working relationship between
the SAARC Secretariat and the Colombo Plan Bureau on training facilities
in the region.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SAARC and International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) has been finalised and is to be signed