By Our Reporter
Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), addressed the third convocation of the South Asian University in New Delhi this morning.
Visitor’s nominee Giriraj Mani Pokharel, Minister for Education, Science and Technology of Nepal, and chief guest Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, MP of India, addressed the convocation.
In his address, the Secretary General recalled the vision of the South Asian University evinced by the former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, during the thirteenth SAARC Summit in Dhaka in November 2005 and his offer to host the University in New Delhi. He stated, “The establishment of the South Asian University is the manifestation of the determination of the member states to promote regional engagement in education. As a centre of excellence, the University is a beacon of hope for our youth who are our future.”
Citing the importance of education, the Secretary General said, “As we all know, education is of utmost importance to develop our youth into valuable assets for our society. With education, our youth is equipped with the talent and capability for promoting socio-economic development, contributing eventually to the welfare of the peoples. Education is a sine qua non for alleviating poverty from the region, which has about 40% of the world’s poor.”
One of the primary objectives of SAARC as enshrined in its Charter is to “provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potentials.” As education empowers people, allowing them to realize their potentials, it has been one of the fundamental areas of focus of SAARC. Furthermore, SAARC recognizes literacy as a fundamental human right, the Secretary General said in his address.