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The Fifty-eighth Session of the Programming Committee of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was held on 15 December 2020 in virtual format. Additional Secretary (Asia Pacific) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, led the Pakistan delegation.

The Session of the Programming Committee, a charter body of SAARC brought together Heads of SAARC Divisions from the Ministries of Foreign/External Affairs or National Focal Points of the Member States of SAARC.

The Committee reviewed the current status of regional cooperation in the identified areas of SAARC. The committee also finalized the budgets and Calendars of Activities of the SAARC Secretariat, Specialized Bodies and Regional Centres.

H. E Mr. Bharat Raj Paudyal, the chair of the Standing Committee of SAARC inaugurated the 58th Session of the Programming Committee, which was followed by remarks from H.E Mr. Esaala Weerakoon, Secretary General (SAARC). During the Session, the Heads of SAARC Specialized Bodies and Regional Centres discussed the impact of the Covid-19 on the activities of these Bodies and Centres during the year 2020.

While reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to SAARC as an important platform for regional cooperation, Mr. Chaudhri shared Pakistan’s perspective on issues related to SAARC Specialized Bodies, SAARC Regional Centre, SAARC Calendar of Activities for the year 2021 and SAARC Recognized and Apex Bodies.

16 December 2020

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