Saarc Failure

Topics: South Asia, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India Pages: 5 (1933 words) Published: November 18, 2012
South Asia is the poorest, the most illiterate, the most malnourished, the least gender sensitive and the most deprived region of the world. It contains about 22% of the world’s total population. Nearly 40% of the world’s poor live in this region. About 35% of the population is living with daily income of less than one dollar. Almost all the countries of this region are facing similar problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, diseases, income inequality, low productivity and dependence on agricultural sector. Thus the socio-economic condition of this region as a whole is in shambles. In order to deal with this the union of seven South Asian countries was established in 1985 in Colombo. It was named “South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)” after dedicating to economic, technological and cultural development programs among its member countries which are Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, while Afghanistan joined this association later in 2007. Initially SAARC was established to retreat and up hold the peace in the south Asia region and create the opportunities of interaction between member countries. Later on strategies were made consisting of five prime objectives i.e. better communication, smooth the progress of trade and investment, expand tourism, assistance in power and energy sector, and endorse private sector. But Social, technological, economic sector, poverty eradication and trade were major issues faced by SAARC. To overcome the economic and poverty problems in 1993, its member countries signed an agreement, South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), for reducing tariff within the region. This agreement was implemented in 2006, the member countries agreed to bring tariff duties down by 20% up to 2009. Ever since its formation in 1985, 14 summits of this organization were held and a number of agreements were also signed, however, the plight of the region has not changed so far and as such the organization as a whole has failed miserably to make any significant headway pertaining to the development of the region. . However, SAARC is not that much successful in resolving economic problems or addressing political conflicts in South Asia. It is due to the reason that the prospect of united economy is greatly ignored among its member states. The prime causes are the lack of harmonize interest and the tragedy of intra-stat conflict among its member countries which stop this organization to become a rising and successful organization, as most of their possessions are used in screening of the power and pay less attention to the resolution of regional problems. SAARC is far behind EU as their free visas policies are only limited to elite class. It is the demand of the day that SAARC should follow the models of EU to prefer regional interest over national interest. But unfortunately SAARC programs were mere form of paper work rather than practical contribution and have failed to gain the status of an economic integration. Disintegrating politics and economics into separate fragments, sustain an independent source of income, decision making and provision of sufficient power to the supra national authority are some basic lessons which SAARC should learn from the EU. SAARC have undergone a slow pace of less than 2% of intra state trade during 1980-2002 which show a low level of integration among its member countries, while it is 62% in European countries. Precedent supports that growth and poverty can be reduced only if the trade is really free. But lack of political harmony, dependence on US, and SAARC failure to implement SAFTA even after undergoing several rounds of talks and discussion vividly explain the widening gap between the progress of European integration and SAARC. To establish any organization the stakeholders have to overcome many difficulties which can be considered challenges for that organization. Broadly speaking any sort of situations that creates...
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