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PM Gilani Assures full Support to Make SAARC More Effective & Vibrant Organization

Posted by on Friday, November 11, 2011, 8:23
This news item was posted in Breaking News category and has 1 Comment so far .

Highlighting the importance of making SAARC a more vibrant organization, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday emphasised the need for effective coordination among the member states.

Yusuf Raza Gilani
Yusuf Raza Gilani

Addressing the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit at the small island of Maldives in its northern part, the Prime Minister said there was a need to bridge the gap between the promise of SAARC and reality of its accomplishment needs.

Referring to the theme of the 17th SAARC Summit, “Building Bridges”, the Prime Minister said, “We should build on convergence, minimize divergences and most of all seek to augment complementarities for the greater good of the people of this region.”

The Prime Minister said Pakistan attached high importance to SAARC, adding that the association had come to epitomize the hopes and aspirations of the people of the region for peace, progress and prosperity.

He said South Asia had the potential to become an important engine for global economic growth.

He said it had all the necessary ingredients in terms of human and natural resources to work the economic miracle of this century.

Gilani said time had come for SAARC to lead the way in a historic transformation of the region utilizing its vast capabilities and build on the sure foundations of great civilization and heritage of its peoples.

He said the theme “Building Bridges” reflected the common desire for promoting mutual understanding and reaching out to each other to create win-win scenarios.

He said it resonated with SAARC’s avowed goal to enhance intra-regional connectivity” by 2020.

The Prime Minister said, “The cultural affinity among our peoples is a huge asset.” Shared geography and history has culminated in a unique synthesis of culture and traditions, he added.

He said in may ways, the South Asia was unique, adding,”We must place our people at the centre of the SAARC processes.”

Gilani said, “We must enable SAARC to capture the imagination of our peoples and contribute to creating strong mutually beneficial bonds as this alone will assure a glorious future of peace and prosperity.”

He said Building Bridges, the theme of the SAARC was an apt theme to set the future trajectory of SAARC and it was an important aspect of the promotion of the spirit of harmony and peace.

The Prime Minister said SAARC could contribute immensely towards building a trust surplus and helpful in bridging of differences and resolution of disputes could impart new dynamism to SAARC.

Gilani said interfaith and inter-culture harmony must find special emphasis in SAARC’s programmes and interactive process in this domain would contribute to reveal the beauty and strength of a true South Asian identity.

Referring to the availability of human resources, the Prime Minister said, “We should build on our inherent strength and effectively address common issues such as socio-economic disparities, poverty alleviation, food security, energy security, women empowerment, health and education.”

He said this required close coordination at national and regional planes by the SAARC members.

Referring to the democratic transformation in South Asia, he said all South Asian states were vibrant democracies.

Gilani said, “Pakistan completed its democratic transformation and is now well on its way to realizing democracy’s dividends by pursuing development at the grass-roots level.”

The Prime Minister said, “We must strengthen regional cooperation through sharing of experiences, best practices and establishing institutional linkages.” He said economic development and democratic governance were closely linked.

He appreciated the Social Charter of SAARC that has established targets for eradication of poverty, population stabilization and human resource development.

Referring to the aims and objectives of the organization, the Prime Minister said the overcharging goals of SAARC were to promote welfare of the people of South Asia and improve their quality of life.

The government of Pakistan, he said, had prioritized poverty reduction and had taken major initiatives including social safety nets.

He said the SAARC members should given special attention to rural development, expansion of agricultural resource base, development of action plans to combat communicable disease, promotion of greater collaboration in the health sector, elimination of illiteracy, scientific and technological capacity building and further development of information and communication technologies.

Gilani appreciated the establishment of SAARC Development Fund and added that it must be enabled to regional development efforts.

He also presented the proposal to establish a regional development bank and urged for closer cooperation in the area of finance and banking in the region.

Highlighting the importance of energy, the Prime Minister said the economic development in the region was closely linked to the availability of energy at affordable price.

He said with abundant alternate energy resources available in the region, there was need to collectively focus on harnessing indigenous energy production potential such as solar, wind, bio and hydel.

“We should also consider arrangements for trans-regional oil and gas pipelines,” he added.

The Prime Minister appreciated the consideration of SAARC Energy Ring by the member states, adding that the way forward would be to consider Regional Framework arrangements on Energy Cooperation.

Gilani said climate change was another common challenge confronting the SAARC region and emphasised the need to have concerted and focused attention by the SAARC member states in this regard.

He said “Green South Asia” would be a befitting theme for SAARC to pursue. He said there was a need to have a comprehensive region-wide approach on water issues, including on the issue of glacier melting, watershed management and pollution on an urgent basis.

Referring to terrorism, the Prime Minister Gilani said it presented an enormous challenge to the region and the world in all its form and manifestation and extended Pakistan’s full support to the efforts under SAARC at enhancing cooperation to eliminate this menace.

He said SAARC could also play an important role in cataloguing and projecting the region’s excellence in arts, crafts and traditions to promote tourism.

Gilani said, “We welcome the interest of extra-regional state and organizations in SAARC and we should give consideration to establishing a dialogue partnership with those interested in an interactive partnership.” He said, “We welcome China’s interest in SAARC.”

He thanked and paid gratitude to the government and the people of Maldives for their warm and generous hospitality extended to the delegations of SAARC.

He congratulated Maldives for adding a historic uniqueness by holding the first ever SAARC Summit in the southern hemisphere.

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1 Response to “PM Gilani Assures full Support to Make SAARC More Effective & Vibrant Organization”

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