SAARC meet on poverty kicks off in Kathmandu

The third SAARC Ministerial Meeting on poverty alleviation kicked off in Kathmandu on Friday.

Last Updated: Apr 05, 2013, 14:54 PM IST

Kathmandu: The third SAARC Ministerial Meeting on poverty alleviation kicked off in Kathmandu on Friday.

Inaugurating the regional meet, chairman of the Interim Election Government of Nepal Khil Raj Regmi said, "Nepal government will prioritise poverty alleviation programmes though the government was formed with a view to conducting Constituent Assembly polls in a free and fair manner."

He also recalled Mahatma Gandhi`s statement, "Poverty is the worst form of violence," and underlined the need to fight poverty in the region through joint efforts.

SAARC secretary general Ahmed Saleem said, "SAARC will put all its efforts to enhance the UN Millennium Development Goals set for 2015."

As South Asia has the largest number of poor people, with over 500 million living below the poverty line, there is a need to move for collaborative efforts to get rid of the common problem, he said.

Representatives from all the eight SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries are attending the SAARC Ministerial meeting on Poverty Alleviation that is expected to make a common position on post MDG-2015 development framework.

During the day-long deliberations, the member states will correlate SAARC Development Goals with the Millennium Development Goals to accelerate their efforts to alleviate poverty in the region.

The meeting is also expected to endorse the decision of coming up with SAARC Development Report in every two years beginning from 2015.

Prior to this, the fifth SAARC secretary-level meeting was held yesterday in which the member states reviewed the progress made in the past.

A four-member delegation from India led by Vandana Kumari Jena, the Principal Advisor to Planning Commission of India, is attending the ministerial meeting.