SAARC Leaders at the Eighteenth SAARC Summit (Kathmandu, Nepal, 26-27 November 2014) stress upon effective implementation of the SAARC Agenda for Culture


The 18th SAARC Summit was held at Kathmandu, Nepal from November 26 to November 27, 2014. The theme of the Summit was ‘Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity.’ It was attended by the prime ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the presidents of the Afghanistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The 18th Summit marked the 30th Year of SAARC. At the conclusion of the Summit on 27 November 2014, the Kathmandu Declaration was adopted.

In the Kathmandu Declaration, SAARC leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and objectives of SAARC for ensuring the welfare and quality of life of the peoples of South Asia. The Declaration makes a special reference to Culture and stresses by reaffirming the continuous commitment of the SAARC leaders to implement the SAARC Agenda for Culture. It states:

“They directed to effectively implement the SAARC Agenda for Culture and agreed to take measures to preserve and restitute the South Asian cultural property and create a SAARC heritage list together with the operational guidelines. They declared the year 2016 as the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage and tasked the relevant bodies to develop an action plan for its success. They also agreed to develop a cultural trail linking major Buddhist historical sites in the region. The Leaders further agreed to facilitate access of persons visiting prominent and holy sites of Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and all other major religions in South Asia.”

It may be recalled that the SAARC Agenda for Culture was comprehensively reviewed and augmented at the Third Meeting of the SAARC Culture Ministers held at New Delhi September 2014.

The nineteenth SAARC Summit will be hosted by the Government of Pakistan in 2016.