The present age is an age of co-operation and developing international relations. With the process of globalization, countries of the world are coming closer to one another and forming different organizations or alliances for mutual benefit.
Different nations of a particular global region unite in a common platform, and share and co-operate among themselves, discuss their problems and work together to achieve their goals. SAARC is such an organization. SAARC is a acronym which stands for south Asian Association for Regional co-operation. As is clear from the name. SAARC is a regional platform for co-operation. SAARC member countries are Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Recently Afghanistan has been recognized as the eight members of SAARC nations. Besides, UN, OIC, EU, china have got observer statues of SAARC. SAARC is the brain child of late president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahaman. In order to from a co operative family of Bangladeshis neighbor countries, he toured the seven countries in 1980 and tried to convince the head of the states to come under the same umbrella where they work to solve their common problems. His dreams finally came into being in 1981 when the foreign secretaries of seven countries met in Colombo to decide the fields of co-operative. Agricultural, health and family planning, poverty alleviation and scientific development were set as the fields of co-operation, but it was not until 1985 that SAARC started its marching gets ahead. SAARC summit is the regular meeting of the heads of the SAARC states. The first summit of SAARC was held in Dhaka on 7 December 1985. The next summit was held in Bangalore at the end of the year 1986. In this summit, it was decided that was permanent secretariat would be set up in kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The third summit was held in kathmanadu, Nepal in 1987, the fourth of Islamabad in 1988, the fifth in Maldives in 1990.
The six summits were held in Colombo, Sri lanka in 1991. The subsequent summits were held by rotation of the SAARC states excluding Bhutan. Bangladesh hosted second SAARC summit in 1993, and the third 2005. The coming 14th summit is set be held in India in 2007. In the Dhaka summit in 2005. Afghanistan has been given the membership status and Japan and china have been given the status of observer states. All the SAARC countries have a common and shared history. Apart from history, SAARC countries have some other shared interests and problems. It is the world’s most densely populated region and one of the most fertile areas. Besides, SAARC countries have common religions, tradition, dress, food, and culture and political aspects. And most important of all, all the SAARC countries have common problems and issues like poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, nature disaster, internal conflicts, industrial and technological backwardness, low GDP and poor socio-economic conditions.
If only SAARC countries can remove the prevalent mood of fear and disbelief, Increase their internal trades, increase their co-operation and friendship, develop their mutual relations, and solve existent conflicts, they can greatly improve their socio- economic condition and uplift their living standard. SAARC is comparatively a new organization in the global area. Its achievements are many, but its failures are more. However, SAARC countries have started working to establish a free trade area which will increase their internal trade and lessen the trade gap of some states considerably. They have also agreed to establish a SAARC university in India, a food bank in Pakistan and also energy reserve.
However, its failures are that it has not yet been able to solve internal regional conflicts, ensure regional security, reduce poverty, and develop a pre- warning system of natural disasters by sharing information. It has also failed to increase trade among SAARC nations and co- operates in other areas. Whatever the gains of SAARC so far many are it is the only platform where the state leaders meet and discuss issues. SAARC is an organization of about 150 crore of people.