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Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 10.24 GMT
SAARC takes South Asia to position of strength and importance
- President

 

The partnership of SAARC has grown in strength and importance over the years. It is one that, we trust, will take the South Asian Region to a position of strength and importance, with a singular voice and new approaches, to dealing with the many issues that confront both South Asia and the world at large, says President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message for the 15th SAARC Summit being held in Colombo

Here is the text of the Presidentís message:

The 15th SAARC Summit continues the work begun by the founders of SAARC 23 years ago, when they saw the need for regional cooperation to promote the welfare and quality of life of all peoples of the South Asia Region, bringing together seven nations with a common heritage of understanding, enriched by its diversity.

As we meet for this 3rd SAARC Summit in Colombo, with a new member among us, we see a region that has changed considerably for the better since SAARC was established. There is more interaction among nations and peoples, greater economic growth and cooperation throughout; considerable advances in health and education, and overall improvement of the quality of life within this region, together with a clear commitment to move further on the path of progress though regional integration.

As we progress in the South Asian Region we are not without the problems that made the founders of SAARC realize its need. Poverty remains widespread although in lesser numbers. Many barriers remain to be removed for the promotion of better trade and commerce within the region. Today, terrorism straddles across the borders of many of our member states, and the South Asian Region too, has to face the challenges of food security and depleting fossil fuels, as well as climate change.

At the last SAARC Summit in New Delhi, there was understanding reached on the importance of connectivity among our nations and peoples. We also realized the need to be an action-oriented organization to transform into reality the many good measures endorsed by SAARC over the years. From the need for greater connectivity we now move towards a genuine partnership for all our peoples. This is a partnership that has grown in strength and importance over the years. It is one that, we trust, will take the South Asian Region to a position of strength and importance, with a singular voice and new approaches, to dealing with the many issues that confront both South Asia and the world at large.

I wish all success to the partnership we seek to build for our people, in the sprit of unity and understanding that SAARC stands for.



Mahinda Rajapaksa
24th July 2008








 


 
   
   
   
   

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