Economic union final SAARC goal: DipuBdnews24.com . Dhaka
Foreign minister Dipu Moni has said the ultimate objective of SAARC is to form a South Asian economic union.
‘There are miles and miles to go but we want to achieve it,’ she said at the concluding session of a two-day international conference titled ‘Challenges and Opportunities of the Twenty-first Century: SAARC’ at the BIISS auditorium in the city on Wednesday.
At the conference organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, 14 papers were presented by academics and professionals, including Imtiaz Ahmed, Bazlul H Khondker, Nitya Nanda, Shanthie Mariet Dsouza and Rabindra Khanal.
‘There is an understanding right now that the cost of non-cooperation is too high and we need to move ahead,’ the foreign minister said.
Having admitted that the progress in SAARC activities was slow earlier she said that now the South Asian bloc was moving with a better pace.
The minister laid emphasis on the role of media in promoting SAARC affairs and urged it to play a mature role.
‘The media need to understand when and where to stop and it must know when to give space [coverage],’ she said.
The minister further said, ‘Our minds will be stifled if the media ask too many questions in the beginning… There must be maturity on the part of the media and also the policymakers.’
The conference put forward a set of recommendations which, the participants believed, would help the policymakers face challenges and explore opportunities in the 21st century.
It suggested undertaking joint infrastructure projects and regional cooperation initiatives to unlock growth potentials.
The conference further suggested that South Asia should take steps to build social and economic capital to ensure security of its citizens.
It also laid emphasis on formation of a South Asian economic union.
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