Current Status of SAARC Initiatives

SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation

SAARC Environment and Disaster Management Centre

South Asian Economic Union (SAEU)

SAARC Development Fund (SDF)

SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement and BBIN-MVA

SAARC Seed Bank Agreement

In 2011, the SAARC Leaders had endorsed a SAARC Seed Bank Agreement and a Framework for Materials Transfer Agreement. Objective of the proposed seed bank was to foster “seed security” in the region; increase seed replacement ratio; address seed shortage via collective action and act as a Regional Seed Security Reserve for member states of SAARC.

This agreement required ratification from all members to come in effect. Out of eight members, only five viz. BBIN & Sri Lanka could ratify the agreement. No action was taken from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives side.

The agreement is thus currently in limbo. There are several other issues related to its functioning, mechanism etc. also which would come to fore only when it comes into existence.

Kindly note that there were talks to set up Regional Vaccine Bank and Regional Livestock Gene Bank also. None of them is in operation right now.

SAARC Satellite

In the 2014 Kathmandu Summit, India had announced launch of a SAARC Satellite, whose total cost (around 235 Crore) would be borne by India and which would help in telecom, TV, DTC, tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support to neighbour countries. At present, its in planned stage and is supposed to be launched by March 2017. Pakistan opted out of it because of its security interest and saying that they have their own space programme under SUPARCO {Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, its corresponding organization of Pakistan to ISRO}, though Pakistan itself has no capacity to launch a satellite on its own. Pakistan had initially shown interest and also offered to “help” which India rejected.  All SAARC countries apart from Pakistan have signed up the project so far.