President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has sent a message on the occasion of this year’s SAARC Charter Day. 

The President’s message reads as follows:‎

“On the occasion of the Thirty Third Anniversary of the founding of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), I am pleased to extend warm greetings and sincere good wishes to the people of SAARC Member States, the Secretary-General and the staff of the SAARC Secretariat, Regional Centers and Apex Bodies.

SAARC region is a vast, densely populated area, characterized by social and cultural diversity. Despite political drawbacks over the past three decades, SAARC has succeeded in creating opportunities where we were able to amicably agree and move forward. In this vein, people-to-people contact is crucial to achieving the full potential of the SAARC region.

Undoubtedly, education is a powerful tool for harnessing the true potential of the SAARC region. For a region with a low literacy rate, increased access and quality of education will contribute to eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development. In line with numerous international instruments which have been adopted, including the Agenda 2030 that recognizes the importance of inclusive and quality education, I firmly believe that SAARC should streamline its education systems to achieve poverty eradication goals enshrined in the SAARC Charter.

SAARC is not exempt from global threats, such as climate change, terrorism and natural disasters. To address these global threats and fight them, we, as a region, need to unite and help each other.

As we commemorate this important day, I wish to convey assurances of the full support and commitment of the Republic of Maldives to the members of SAARC, to further bolster the existing bonds between the Member States. The Maldives will continue to strive to work in concert for the betterment of the socio-economic standing, peace, security and stability of the region.

Let us not let our differences in belief and outlook hinder our efforts to achieving our common goals as a region. In the spirit and good will that culminated in the founding of the SAARC organization, we need to sustain progressive dialogue, respect and reciprocate.

I wish SAARC and the region every success.”

Source: President's Office