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SAARC Charter of Democracy fianlized

Members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) finalized the draft of its charter on democracy for protecting and strengthening democracy in the region, Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, Foreign secretary of Bangladesh said on Sunday.

Ending a two-day technical meeting at Dhaka, representatives of all eight-member states of SAARC okayed the draft prepared by Bangladesh.

“To shield the democracies in the region from extra-constitutional takeovers is a major recommendation laid down in the draft charter,” Foreign Secretary Mhamed. Mijarul Quayes told reporters after the meeting.

Foreign secretary told that the proposed charter would strengthen the SAARC process in future as development and democratic governance were closely linked.

“Today, we have built an excellent foundation of democratic commitment in the South Asian region. We have adopted a clean draft of the charter on democracy,” Quayes, who chaired the meet, told journalists at Sheraton Hotel.

“The draft will uphold SAARC’s spirit of protecting and strengthening democracy at the national and regional levels”.

He, however, declined to divulge further details saying that it would go through meetings of SAARC foreign secretaries, foreign ministers and finally the head of the states or governments.

“At present, democratically elected governments are in place in all member states. If we don’t talk about strengthening democracy now, when will we?” the secretary questioned.

Issues such as military takeover, human rights, freedom, secularism and other relevant matters came up for discussion, said the secretary.

Sufiur Rahamn, Director General (SAARC) of Foreign Ministry, said SAARC was created with the aim of improving the quality of lives of the people in the South Asian region.

“Democracy and development are closely linked,” he said justifying the move of inserting the charter of democracy.

Bangladesh proposed inserting the charter on democracy to bring an end to unconstitutional governments in SAARC member states at the 16th SAARC summit in Thimphu.

The member states at the summit requested Bangladesh to host a technical meeting on the issue. Ealier, Dhaka sent a draft of the charter on democracy to the members through the SAARC secretariat.

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September 5, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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