Kathmandu,24 Nov 2014: The 41st session of the SAARC Standing Committee has been discussing the agendas including transport, railway and energy to give a final shape in preparation for the 18th SAARC summit.
Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shanker Das Bairagi, informed RSS that the meeting is holding discussions on the various topics including poverty alleviation, information and technology, transport, energy, agriculture, rural development and food security, environment, climate change and natural disaster, social development, health and population.
Similarly, discussions were underway on the issues of terrorism, controlling drug trafficking, education and strengthening SAARC.
The meeting would forge consensus on the issues mentioned in the report presented by the Joint-Secretary level Programming Committee till this evening, it is learnt.
Among the issues mentioned in the work schedule, an agreement is expected to be signed on issues related to transportation, railway and energy after these issues are forwarded following the completing the due process and homework from the member countries.
The agreement is expected to strengthen connectivity among the member countries similar to the concept of the European Union.
Similarly the meeting is holding discussions on the periodic analytical report presented by SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa and the representatives of member countries are suggesting in it.
The meeting is holding discussions on the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and South Asian Trade in Services (SATIS) and other economic and financial cooperation programmes.
Acting Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi is leading the Nepali delegation while the delegation of Afghanistan is led by Deputy Director for Regional Cooperation Seddiq Rasuli, the Bangladesi delegation by Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and of Bhutan by Foreign Secretary Yeshey Dorji.
Likewise, the Indian delegation will be led by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and of the Maldives by Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed.
The Pakistani delegation is led by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and of Sri Lanka by Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs Ms Kshenuka Senewiratne.
The meeting of the standing committee would submit its report in the meeting of SAARC Council of Minister on Tuesday.