President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has sent a message on the occasion of this year’s SAARC Charter Day.
The President’s message reads as follows:
“As we commemorate the beginning of the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), it gives me great pleasure to extend warm greetings and good wishes to the Secretary General of SAARC, the staff at the SAARC Secretariat and people of all SAARC Members States.”
“SAARC stands as the sole regional platform in South Asia to realize the treasured bonds of the shared civilisation, culture and common history; with the aim to build relations between us; on the sacred premise that regional cooperation is mutually beneficial, desirable; and indeed necessary. I believe that Asia, and South Asia in particular, is becoming more powerful and more prominent than any other time in our history. In short, the future is ours to shape and SAARC has an imperative role to ensure that this is achieved.”
“Since its establishment in 1985, SAARC has facilitated regional cooperation in many areas to improve the well-being of the people of South Asia. In doing so, the Association has attempted to reinforce a common South Asian identity and solidarity given the region’s close historical, cultural and geographical ties and the common aspiration and desire of all Member States to promote the social and economic well being of their peoples. Maldives, during our recent Chairmanship took a keen interest in institutional reform of the organization to ensure SAARC and its activities are high-reaching, result oriented and more sectoral focused. Our goal is to move SAARC towards regional resilience and SAARC has proved to be successful in promoting mutual collaboration in economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.”
“While it’s important that we celebrate SAARC’s achievements in bringing together the region of South Asia and achieving considerable progress in areas of economic, social, technical and scientific fields, it is equally important for us to recognize and address the numerous challenges faced by SAARC. The true potential of this region may be unlocked, and the relations between us deepened, through innovation, drive, and most importantly leadership.”
“As we commemorate this important occasion, I would like to reaffirm the Maldives’ commitment to the SAARC ideals, and fostering even stronger cooperation for the advancement of all Member States. It is my sincere hope that we will put aside our differences and work together to realize our common goal of a better and more prosperous future for the people of South Asia. Individually, we may not be able to voice our concerns, yet collectively, we can cross oceans and scale mountains. It is time that we start putting “South Asia first”.”