UN willing to strengthen cooperation with SAARC

KATHMANDU – The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has shown willingness to strengthen cooperation with SAARC. The UN Secretary General expressed desire of the UN to strengthen cooperation with SAARC, which represents the ‘Large Chunk of Global Population’.

He expressed it during a courtesy call Secretary General of SAARC, Golam Sarwar, had paid to him at UN Headquarters in New York on April 8. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Sarwar appreciated UN Secretary General for UN’s steadfast commitment and support to SAARC, which is an Observer Organisation of the UN since 2004, according to SAARC secretariat, Kathmandu.

The visiting Secretary General of SAARC had extensive discussions on further strengthening of relations between SAARC and UN in multiple areas of mutual interest especially climate change, food security and renewable energy collaborations. While highlighting that SAARC has signed Memorandums of Understating (MoUs) with UN agencies including UNDP, FAO, UNEP, UNISDR, UNESCAP, UNTAD, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNWOMEN, Ambassador Sarwar further stated that several of these MoUs need to be updated taking into account the present context in order to augment existing ties between two parties.

Given the potential of reinforcing project-based collaboration between both organizations, Ambassador Sarwar proposed a joint meeting of the SAARC secretariat and UN agencies in Kathmandu at the SAARC secretariat, in the near future as a brainstorming session to identify forthcoming areas for further collaboration. UN Secretary General Guterres welcomed the proposal and emphasized on the elevation of the cooperation between SAARC and the UN. He also instantly instructed his office to connect the SAARC secretariat with relevant officials of the UN Headquarters for the sake of effective Sectoral Cooperation.

In a bid to boost effectiveness and sustainability of the secretariat, Ambassador Sarwar explored the avenues for capacity building opportunities for the officials of the SAARC secretariat. Moreover, UN Secretary General Guterres assured continued UN support and assistance toward SAARC and both dignitaries during the meeting agreed to work closely to further enhance the existing ties between SAARC and UN in the coming years, the press release added.

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