SAARC Current Affairs

SAARC Development Fund to launch Social Enterprise Development Programme

SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is going to launch social enterprise development programme (SEDP) as part of its social window. The programme will be implemented in all SAARC member states with objective of identifying and building social enterprises by using mix of grants and concessional returnable capital. It intends to fund around 80 enterprises across the 8 SAARC member states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) annually.

SAARC Development Fund (SDF)

SDF was established by heads of all eight SAARC member states during 16th SAARC summit at Thimphu, Bhutan in April 2010. Its Governing Council comprises finance ministers of these eight countries. It is successor of  South Asian Development Fund (SADF), which was launched in 1996 by merging two existing facilities called SAARC Fund for Regional Projects (SFRP) and SAARC Regional Fund. SDF’s Secretariat is located at Thimphu, capital of Bhutan

SDF was created as umbrella financial mechanism for all SAARC developmental projects and programmes. Its core objectives are to promote welfare of the people of SAARC region, improve their quality of life and accelerate economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in the region. It funds projects in South Asia region via three windows viz. Social Window, Economic Window and Infrastructure Window. At present, only Social Window is in operation, the other two windows are yet to open.

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14th SAARCLAW Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka

The 14th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law (SAARCLAW) Conference was held in Colombo, capital city of Sri Lanka along with 11th SAARC Chief Justices Conference.

The three-day conference was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and saw participation from South Asia’s top Judges, legal practitioners and academics.

Key Facts

The SAARCLAW Conference provided platform for legal professionals to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests and emerging legal trends in the South Asian countries. It also discussed issues like artificial intelligence, human trafficking, Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and environmental protection concerns.

Besides, 11th Chief Justices conference was held in a closed-door session and was attended only by Chief Justices or their representatives. It provided Chief Justices of SAARC countries opportunity to consider relevance of judiciaries within South Asia.

SAARCLAW Conference

It was established in Sri Lanka in 1991. Since then conference has provided a platform for legal professionals from South Asian region to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests pertaining to justice, legal reforms, good governance and enforcement over a span of 25 years.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

SAARC is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It comprises 3% of world’s area, 21% of world’s population and 3.8% of global economy as of 2015.

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