Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
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|Secretary-General of the|
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
|Appointer||Council of Ministers of the SAARC nations|
|Term length||Three years|
|Formation||SAARC Charter: 16 January 1987|
|First holder||Abul Ahsan|
Secretary-General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, is head of a SAARC Secretariat, which is headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal. SAARC is an economic and geopolitical union between the eight South Asian member nations, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Secretary-General is appointed for a three-year term by election by a council of Ministers from member states. Secretary-General is assisted by eight deputies, one from each nation, who also reside in Kathmandu. SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu on 16 January 1987 by Bangladeshi diplomat Abul Ahsan, who was its first Secretary-General, and was inaugurated by King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal. Since its creation, its member nations have contributed to a total of thirteen General Secretaries. Pakistan's Diplomat Amjad Hussain B. Sial is the current Secretary-General, having assumed charge on 1 March 2017.
SAARC Secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. It coordinates and monitors the implementation of activities, hosts meetings, and serves as a channel of communication between the Association and its member states as well as other regional organizations.
Secretary-General is assisted by eight Directors on deputation from the member states, and SAARC Secretariat includes officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SAARC Secretariat is supported by following regional centers established in member states to promote regional co-operation. These centers are managed by governing boards composed of representatives from all the member states, the SAARC Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Host Government. The Director of the Center acts as Member Secretary to the Governing Board which reports to the Programming Committee.
- SAARC Agricultural Centre (SAC), Dhaka, Bangladesh
- SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC), Dhaka, Bangladesh
- SAARC Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Centre (STAC), Kathmandu, Nepal
- SAARC Documentation Centre (SDC), New Delhi, India
- SAARC Human Resources Development Centre (SHRDC), Islamabad, Pakistan
- SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre (SCZMC), Maldives
- SAARC Information Centre (SIC), Nepal
- SAARC Energy Centre (SEC), Pakistan
- SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC), India
- SAARC Development Fund(SDF), Bhutan
- SAARC Forestry Centre (SFC), Bhutan
- SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC), Sri Lanka
There have been 12 democratically elected holders of the office of Secretary-General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Bangladesh held the first summit in Dhaka, where the Bangladeshi diplomat, Abul Ahsan was elected its first Secretary-General. Since then, 11 more General Secretaries have been selected from each member nation, so far with the exception of Afghanistan.
Secretaries General of the SAARC
|Secretary-Generals||Portrait||Dates in Office||State of Origin||Notes|
|Abul Ahsan||16 January 1985 – 15 October 1989||Bangladesh||Served as Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh , the UNESCO , and the OIC.|
|K.Kishore Bhargava||17 October 1989 – 31 December 1991||India||Emigrated to Canada in 1998.|
|Ibrahim Zaki||1 January 1992 – 31 December 1993||Maldives||Continuation of ministerial appointments in the Maldives government until 2003.|
|Yadav K. Silwal||1 January 1994 – 31 December 1995||Nepal||Served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.|
|Naeem Hasan||1 January 1996 – 31 December 1998||Pakistan||Served as Pakistan Ambassador to Sweden until 2001.|
|1 January 1999 – 10 January 2002||Sri Lanka|
|Q.A. Rahim||11 January 2002 – 28 February 2005||Bangladesh|
|Chenkyab Dorji||1 March 2005 – 29 February 2008||Bhutan||Continuation of appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan.|
|Sheel Sharma||1 March 2008 – 28 February 2011||India||Served in the Indian DAE , the AECI and as the Permanent Representative to the IAEA.|
|Fathimath Saeed||1 March 2011 – 11 March 2012||Maldives||Resigned from the post in 2012.|
|Ahmed Saleem||12 March 2012 – 28 February 2014||Maldives|
|Arjun Bahadur Thapa||1 March 2014 – 1 March 2017||Nepal||Former Foreign Secretary of Nepal|
|Amjad Hussain B. Sial||1 March, 2017 – present||Pakistan||Former Special Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad|
- SAARC Secy. Gen. "Secretary General of SAARC". SAARC. SAARC Secy. Gen. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- SAARC Summit. "SAARC". SAARC Summit. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Pakistani becomes Saarc secretary general". 2 March 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)