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Bangladeshi Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Urges SAARC to be More Effective


Bangladeshi Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury called for making SAARC more effective to enable it to tackle the major regional and global problems like food security, trade, energy and climate change.

Foreign Adviser made the call while addressing the first session of the SAARC Council of Ministers in the Sri Lankan capital.

The foreign adviser stressed the need for continued focus on poverty alleviation within the broad context of social development.

He made the statement on food security that is to be issued by the heads of government in SAARC. He also called for making SAARC Food Bank operational immediately.

Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers, as well as officials from 5 other South Asian nations, are in Colombo for the 15th annual South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (or SAARC) summit.

The summit is set to begin on Saturday.

Poverty alleviation, food security, energy shortfalls and the fight against terrorism are all on the agenda.

On Wednesday, officials from the member states outlined an ambitious set of goals. But there is skepticism about the group's ability to handle such a to-do list.

SAARC is comprised of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

SAARC officials say ministers of state have agreed on nearly everything to be included in the summit declaration, which is expected to be endorsed by the heads of government Sunday. The leaders also are due to sign an agreement establishing a development fund to eradicate poverty.

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