SAARC members pledge to enhance cooperation


ISLAMABAD: Young parliamentarians of the South Asian Association for Regional


Cooperation (SAARC) countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in diverse fields including


energy, trade, security, and to ease process of visa and travel arrangements.


An understanding to this effect came in a joint statement issued on the conclusion of the first two-


day and#39;Young Parliamentarians Conferenceand#39; in Islamabad on Wednesday.


The conference laid stress on developing mechanisms for strengthening cooperation in climate


change, environment, education, tourism, and sports, said a statement.


Earlier, addressing the concluding ceremony, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq


said the conference would help to improve Pakistanand#39;s image abroad.


He termed the youth to be the decisive power and urged them to actively involve themselves in


politics. andquot;The youth should hold us accountable wherever we go wrong,andquot; he said. The speaker


desired that the foreign delegates should interact with the youth of Pakistan by visiting different


universities.


The convener of the conference, Malik Uzair, presented the conference declaration. He


emphasised the need to institutionalise the SAARC Young Parliamentariansand#39; Forum.


He said that there is a need to adopt the SAARC youth charter to strengthen the voice of youth of


the region, and added that there was also a need to strengthen mechanisms for cooperation and


institutionalisation of the SAARC efforts for climate change, environment, energy and trade


facilitation among member states.


He said promotion of inter-SAARC education, sports, tourism and cultural exchanges; including


arranging sports fixtures among teams of SAARC parliamentarians could promote people-to-


people contact for peace, harmony and development of the SAARC region.


SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa, EU delegation acting head of Pakistan Stefano


Gatto, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, Conference convener Malik Muhammad


Uzair Khan and other parliamentarians including Shaza Fatima Khawja, Nafeesa Shah, Ayesha


Raza Farooq, Syed Ali Raza Abidi and Marriyum Aurangzeb were also present.

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