11.8.2020 : 11:19 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)


Kathmandu, Nepal

Web site

Short description

SAARC supports economic and social development within the South Asian subregion.


In 2010 the AU budget amounted to USD 250 million. The AU–EU Partnership makes the EU the largest external contributor. The Decisions of the 14th AU Summit (2010) requested member states to increase their contributions to the Peace Fund from 6 to 12 per cent over a threeyear period beginning in 2011. Germany (through its international development agency, GIZ) and the United States are among other bilateral donors also providing assistance to the AU.

Seven South Asian nations established SAARC in 1985. Afghanistan became the organization’s eighth member in 2007. The organization has nine formal observers: Australia, China, the EU, Iran, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, and the United States. (In 2012 SAARC will review its 2008 decision not to expand the number of observers.)


8 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

SAARC members represent:

  • 5 of 7 BIMSTEC members (Myanmar and Thailand are not SAARC members)
  • 3 of 24 CICA members (Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan are CICA members)

* Information accurate as of 6 June 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Damayanthie Rajapakse
  • Director, Education, Security Aspects and Culture Division


PoA-related activities

The SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol (which entered into force in 1998 and 2006, respectively) provide the basis for a range of sub-regional cooperation measures that implicitly can help to implement the PoA. Article 9 of the protocol explicitly calls for members to exchange information ‘to detect and prevent the international movement of terrorists and trafficking of arms’ (albeit ‘consistent with their respective domestic legal and administrative regimes’). Two SAARC monitoring desks track drug offences (established 1992) and terrorist offences (established 1995), and serve as focal points for expertise, training, best practices, and information sharing. (In February 2012 a SAARC experts group called for a review of the web portal used by these two desks.) The 2009 SAARC Ministerial Declaration on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism reiterated the organization’s support for the exchange of information to detect and prevent arms trafficking and agreed to explore the possibility of developing an integrated border management mechanism. Later in 2009 SAARC sent an official to attend a UN meeting on combating illicit brokering in small arms, while in 2010 SAARC leaders noted that the illegal trafficking of firearms continued to be a matter of serious concern. SAARC has also convened ten police conferences since 1996 to discuss issues such as networking among police authorities, organized crime, drug trafficking, corruption, and training. At the 2011 conference it discussed the possibility of creating a regional police institution—SAARCPOL— which is still under review. As SAARC has noted, although it has no mandate explicitly linked to implementing the PoA, ‘it has long been expected to establish a forum or mechanism to address the issue of small arms at the subregional level’. SAARC is discussing this further with UNRCPD.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs


Legally binding regional instruments

  • Charter of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (1985)
  • SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism (1987) and its Additional Protocol (2004)

Other official documents of interest

  • SAARC Ministerial Declaration on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism (2009)


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