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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 implementation.

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.

4. APT

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 telecommunications network.

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 relevant reports.


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 prevention etc.


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.

8. ITU

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SAARC and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has been finalised and is to be signed shortly.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
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LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka

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