Highlighting that today’s globalised world required inter-regional relations, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has stated that it would be more beneficial for South Asia to engage with the global partners as a group, rather than individually. The President made this statement in his address delivered at the inaugural session of the 18th SAARC Summit, held Wednesday morning in Kathmandu, Nepal. He noted that the organisation’s engagement with other regions and countries has been revitalised, and expressed his confidence that there was much scope for the further strengthening of such ties.
In his address, President Yameen underlined the vision of the founding members of SAARC; building relations between member countries, on the premise that regional cooperation was mutually beneficial, desirable and necessary. The President noted that the organisation’s challenge today was “to work towards peace, security and economic sustainability in the SAARC region; to harness the full potential of every corner of this region; to deliver prosperity that is felt by every individual, seen in every community, realised in every country, and appreciated by the rest of the world; and to transform SAARC from a group of aspirations to an Association of actions and results.”
Emphasising that each one of the member states had a contribution to make, in order to ensure South Asia’s success, President Yameen underlined the efforts taken by Maldives, in the institutional reform of SAARC. He stressed the need to make the organisation more relevant, goal-oriented, and results-based.
President Yameen also stated that trade and commerce held the key to the future prosperity of the people and for peace within the region, and called upon all SAARC member states to attune themselves to the realities of the day and seize the opportunities that were presented.
“Commerce underscores good neighbourly relations, unlocks the doors to each other’s communities. Trade fosters mutual understanding and benefits, moving entire communities from poverty to prosperity”, said the President.