8 December 2016, Male'; “On the occasion of the Thirty Second Anniversary of the founding of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), I am pleased to extend warm greetings and sincere good wishes to the people of SAARC, especially to the Secretary-General and the hardworking staff of the Secretariat.
SAARC was founded to enhance regional coordination and connectivity to improve the well-being of the people of South Asia. Despite the vast differences in geography and demographics, our Members share historic and cultural ties that ensure understanding and mutual respect within our communities.
South Asia has a vast potential to offer, not only to its people, but also to the entire world. Efforts need to be strengthened to foster greater cooperation by improving connectivity and enhancing cooperation, with a focus on increasing trade within the region.
SAARC faces many challenges. But together, we have also achieved much. As we mark another year since its establishment, we need to remind ourselves of the noble principles of the Association and redouble our efforts to strengthen our resolve and focus on how, as a region, we can improve the lives of all our people and achieve sustainable progress and prosperity.
I wish SAARC and the region every success.”