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Roundtable on prospects and challenges of regional cooperation in South Asia

Participants suggested ways to revive the SAARC process to make it a viable platform for regional cooperation.

Kathmandu: The India Study Centre at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) organised a Roundtable Discussion, titled “Prospects and Challenges of Regional Cooperation in South Asia”, with Ambassador Golam Sarwar, Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The event was attended by diplomats, academics, practitioners, and researchers of various Islamabad-based think-tanks and Universities.

During the discussion, the importance of SAARC for the region was highlighted by the participants. It was noted that SAARC is a people-centric organization and it has played an instrumental role in addressing myriad of common challenges faced by member states like food insecurity, growing population, natural disasters, and deficient intra-regional trade and connectivity.

The participants focused on the need for improving implementation of SAARC’s decisions, strengthening economic cooperation and trade and deepening regional integration and connectivity. The participants shared their perspectives on the progress made by SAARC so far and suggested ways to revive the SAARC process to make it a viable platform for regional cooperation.