SAARC Cabinet Secretaries Meeting

 

Brief about the 3rd meeting of the Cabinet Secretaries of the SAARC Countries.

The third Meeting of the SAARC Cabinet Secretaries was held in Islamabad on 16-17 April 2015 to discuss issues of common interests of the Member States as included in the Agenda. The Meeting was attended by the representatives of the SAARC Secretariat and all Member States except The Maldives.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General of SAARC Mr. Arjun B. Thapa underlined the need for strengthening SAARC in order to have the required capacity to cope with new and emerging challenges and to fulfill the aspirations of the people of the region.   Mr. Raja Hasan Abbas, Cabinet Secretary, Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the leader of the delegation of the host country, was elected unanimously as Chairperson of the Meeting. In his opening remarks, the Chairperson welcomed the delegates and thanked them for electing Pakistan as a Chairperson. He highlighted the vital role that the cabinet secretaries of the SAARC countries could play to enhance coordination among the member states. The Cabinet Secretaries of SAARC Member States called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and apprised the Prime Minister about the issues to be discussed during their two-day meeting.

The Heads of delegations from Member States made presentations on administrative reforms being undertaken in their respective countries. Presentations made covered wide range of initiatives and activities in the context of administrative, economic, and social reforms. The Meeting appreciated the initiatives, measures and activities taking place in a wide range of areas of interests.

Delegations of Member States briefed the meeting/made presentations about the success stories and initiatives in their respective countries. The Meeting acknowledged the initiatives taken by the Member States and appreciated the success stories presented as the models of Best Practices. The chairperson Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) introduced the Program as one of the best practice in Pakistan. In her brief speech, she described BISP as a manifestation of government resolve towards attaining different MDGs. She added that the Program used innovative payment methods like the use of smart card/debit card and mobile banking; and that the Program offered cash grants, microfinance loans, vocational and technical training and life and health insurance.

 

H.E. Mr. Leela Mani Paudyal, Cabinet Secretary and leader of the delegation of Nepal, proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairperson for steering the entire meeting successfully. He appreciated the Government of Pakistan for hosting this important meeting and for the generous hospitality extended to all the visiting delegations. He also expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for receiving the Heads of delegations and sharing his thoughts and vision for prosperous SAARC