Academic journal article Indian Foreign Affairs Journal

Regional Cooperation in South Asia the Present and the Future

Academic journal article Indian Foreign Affairs Journal

Regional Cooperation in South Asia the Present and the Future

Article excerpt

On 8 December 1985, leaders of 7 South Asian Countries came together to launch the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC.

In the preamble to the Charter itself, signed that day, they expressed their conviction that 'regional cooperation among the countries of South Asia is mutually beneficial, desirable and necessary'. There was also a hope that these efforts at regional cooperation would eventually lead to meaningful regional integration - not withstanding some inherent problems in achieving the same.

While regional integration elsewhere, like in Europe, LatinAmerica, South East Asia have been moving rapidly, three decades later, efforts at regional integration in South Asia has been lack-lustre.

Conscious of the fact that bilateral issues could tend to cloud joint decisions, it was specifically provided, in the charter, that 'decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity' and that 'bilateral and contentious issues shall be excluded from the deliberations'. …

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