September 19, 2014 2:34:09 pm
Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Friday inaugurated the 6th SAARC Home Ministers’ meet here which is expected to discuss counter-terrorism, maritime security, narcotic drugs, cyber crimes and other issues.
The Indian delegation is led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
In his opening remarks, Koirala said peace and prosperity are fundamental pillars of a healthy society and hoped the gathering would come out with concrete recommendations on accelerating regional cooperation and peace.
“Economic growth and social progress are possible only in a peaceful and secured environment, which in turn contribute to consolidating democratic norms and values, protecting individual freedom, and human rights,” he said.
The Prime Minister said: “South Asia is considered among the least integrated regions in the world as delivery from the SAARC process stands much below its potential.”
Koirala expressed hope that “SAARC Home Ministers’ meeting will come up with concrete recommendations on accelerating the process of regional cooperation.”
“SAARC is the most vulnerable region in terms of natural disaster as various types of incidents such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, occur in the region frequently, which affect everyone in this interdependent world,” Koirala said.
He underlined the need to strengthen “our capacity and promote collaborative efforts to deal with these problems.”
Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, who chaired the meeting, said “we are happy to note that SAARC countries are coming up closer and developing strong ties in mutual trust and understanding.”
Gautam said more effective and decisive actions are needed to translate the vision of SAARC into reality.
Home Ministers from all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation member states – Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka – are attending the meet except Pakistan, which is being represented by its ambassador to Nepal.
The meeting is expected to discuss regional issues such as terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cyber crime.
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