24 November 2014, Male';The 41st Session of the Standing Committee of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) began in Kathmandu today. The Meeting was participated by the Foreign Secretaries of all Member States. The Maldives Foreign Secretary, H. E. Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed opened the Session as the Chair of the 17th Summit held in 2011.

As per practice, the host of the 18th SAARC Summit the Head of Delegation of Nepal was elected as the new Chair of the Committee. In his remarks prior to handing over to Nepal, Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer thanked all SAARC Members for the support and cooperation in carrying forward the work of the Committee over the last three years.

During today’s Session the Foreign Secretaries are scheduled to discuss a wide range of issues on regional cooperation including consideration of reports and activities on economic and finance, poverty alleviation, Information and Communication Technology, transport, energy cooperation, agriculture and food security, environment and climate change, biotechnology, social development, health and education. The two-day Session of the Standing Committee also deliberated on SAARC Development Fund, SAARC Apex Bodies and SAARC recognized bodies and intergovernmental organizations.

The Standing Committee Session will be followed by the 36th Session of the Council of Ministers of SAARC beginning on 25th of November.

The Maldives Delegation to the Standing Committee also include; Ms. Aishath Liusha, Additional Secretary, Ms. Farzana Zahir, Joint Secretary, Ms. Zenysha Zaki, Director at the Ministry and Ms. Shazly Saleem, Senior Desk Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.