"South Asia: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

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[1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 142. SOUTH ASIAN ASSOCIATION FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION (SAARC) : DECLARATION AND CHARIER * Dhaka Declaration of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ( SAARC) The President of Bangladesh, The King of Bhutan, The Prime Minister of India , The President of Maldives, The King of Nepal, The President of Pakistan and The President of Sri Lanka met in Dhaka on 7 and 8 December 1985. 2. The Heads of State or Government underscored the historic singnificance of their first ever South Asian Summit Meeting. They considered it to be a tangible manifestation of their determination to cooperate regionally . To work together towards finding solutions towards their common problems in a spirit of friendship, trust and mutual understanding and to the creation of an order based on mutual respect, equility and shared benefits. 3. They recognised that periodic meetings at their level were central to the promotion of mutual trust and cooperation among their countries. 4. The Heads of state or government reaffirmed that their fundamental goal was to acclerate the procees of economic and social development in their respective countries through the optimum utilization of their human and material resources, so as to promote the welfare and prosperity of their peoples and to improve their quality of life. They were conscious that peace and security was an essential prerequisite ♦[Copies of these documents were provided by the High CommissiorB for India f Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and the Embassy of Pakistan, Canberra] [19861 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 143 for the realisation of this objective. 5. The leaders of the South Asian countries reaffirmed their commitment to the UN charter and the priciples governing sovereign equality of states, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs and non-use or threat of use of force against the teritorial integrity and political independence of other states. They reiterated that the United Nations constituted the most important forum for the resolution of all issues affecting international peace and security. 6. They also reaffirmed their deep conviction in the continuing validity and relevance of the objectives of the Non-aligned movement as an important force in international relations• 7. The Heads of state or government acknowledged that the countries of South Asia, who constituted one-fifth of humanity were faced with the formidable challenges posed by poverty, underdevelopment, low levels of production,unemployment and pressure of population compounded by exploitation of the past and other adverse legacies. They felt that, bound as countries were by many common values rooted in their social, ethnic, cultural and historical traditions, regional cooperation provided a logical response to these problems. They were conscious of their individual and regional strengths, their potential as a huge market, their substantial human and natural resources and the complementarities of their economies.They were confident that with effective regional cooperation, they could make optimum use of these capacities for the benefit of their proples, acclerate the pace of their economic development and enhance their national and collective self-reliance. They were confident that their countries, which had made important [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS________________144 contributions to the enrichment of human civilization,could together play their due role in international relations and influence decisions which affected them. 8. The Heads of state or government emphasised that strengthening of regional cooperation in South Asia required greater involvement of their peoples. They agreed to increase interaction and further promote people-to-people contacts at various levels among their countries. To this end, they decided to take steps to create awarness and public opinion in the region. 9. The Heads of state or government welcome the progress already made in the implementation of the integrated programme of action in the nine mutually agreed areas.They expressed their desire to consolidate and further expand cooperative efforts within an appropriate institutional framework in a spirit of partnership and equality. 10. The leaders were convinced that they could effectively pursue their individual and collective objectives and improve the quality of life of their peoples only in an atmosphere of peace and security. In this context, they expressed concern at the deteriorating international political situation. They were alarmed at the unprecedented escalation of arms race particularl in its nuclear aspect. They recognized that mankind today was confronted with the threat of self extinction arising from a massive accumulation of the most destructive weapons ever produced. The arms race intensified international tension and violated the principles of the UN charter. The leaders called upon the nuclear weapons-states for urgent negotiations for a comprehensive test ban treaty leading to the complete cessation of testing, production and deployment of nucl ar w apons. En this connection they welcomed the recent meeting between till! i I • 'll. i [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 145 expressed the hope that the meeting would have a positive effect on international peace and security. 11. The Heads of state or government expressed deep concern at the continuing crisis in the global economy. They underscored that deteriorating economic and social conditions had seriously retarded development prospects in South Asia and other developing countries. Sharply falling commodity prices,deterioration in the terms of trade,intensification of protectionist measures, spiralling debt burden and decline in the flow of external resources especially concessional assistance, had caused a serious setback to the economic development of the developing countries. These had been compounded by natural disasters and precarious world food security situation affecting developing countries. They also expressed concern over the diminishing capacity of international financial and technical institutions to respond effectively to the needs of the disadvantaged and poorer countries and regretted that the spirit of multilateral cooperation had begun to falter and weaken. This Was particularly disturbing in the face of increased inter-dependence of developed and developing countries and the fact that economic revival of north was closely linked to economic progress in South. They believed that developments during the past decades had clearly demonstrated the structural imbalances and inequities inherent in the existing international economic system and its inadequacy to deal with problems of development. 12. They strongly urged that determined efforts should be made by the international community towards realization of the goals and targets of the I.ntornational Development strategy as well as the Substantial New Programme of Action for the least developed countries. They called for urgent resumption of the north-south dialeavi and early convening of an international confesp^nge on money and finance for dev lopment with universal participation. [19861 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 146 13. The Heads of state and government were conscious of the historic importance of the Dhaka summit and reiterated their conviction that the launching of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which they had established at this meeting, would place regional cooperation on a firm foundation, play an important role in accelarating the pace of economic and social development of their self-reliance and further the cause of peace, progress and stability in their region and the world. 14. The Heads of state or government of Bhutan, India* Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were deeply appreciative of the examplary chairmanship of their meeting by the President of Bangladesh. They expressed their profound gratitude for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to them by the government and the people of Bangladesh and for the excellent arrangments made for the meeting. 0.986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 147 Charter of the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation ( SAARC ) We/the Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan,India,Maldives,Nepal/Pakistan and Sri Lanka : 1. DESIROUS of promoting peace, stability, amity and progress in the region through strict adherence to the principle of the United Nations Charter and Non-Alignment, particularly respect for the principles of sovereign equality,territorial integrity, national independence, non-use of force, and noninterference in the internal affairs of other states and peaceful settlement of all disputes. 2. CONSCIOUS. that in an increasingly inter-dependent world,the objectives ■ * ’ of peace, freedom, social justice and economic prosperity are best achieved by fostering mutual understanding, good neighbourly relations and meaningful cooperation among the member states which are bound by ties of history and culture. 3. AWARE of the Common problems, interests and aspirations of the peoples of South Asia and the need for joint action and enhanced cooperation within their respective political and economic system and cultural traditions. 4. CONVINCED that regional cooperation among the countries of South Asia is mutually beneficial, desriable and necessary for promoting the welfare and improving the quality of life of the peoples of the region. 5. CONVINCED further that Economic, Social and Technical Cooperation oantly to their national and collective self-reliance. [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 148 6. RECOGNISING that increased cooperation, contacts and exchange among the countries of the region will contribute to the promotion of friendship and understanding among their peoples. 7. RECALLING the Declaration signed by their Foreign Ministers in New Delhi on August 2, 1983 and noting the progress achieved in regional cooperation. 8. REAFFIRMING. their determination to promote such cooperation within an institutional framework. DO HEREBY Agree to establish and organisation to be known as South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation,hereinafter referred to as the Association,with the following objectives, principles,institutional and financial arrangements: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF SAARC: ARTICLE-I * 1. The objectives of the Association shall be :- a) To promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life, b) To accelerate economic growth,social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potentials. c) To promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia. d) To contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another's Problems. e) To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic,social,cultural,technical and scientific fields. £) to strengthen cooperation with bthef developing

countries.

[1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS G) To strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interests, and H) To cooperate with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes. ARTICLE-II 1. Cooperation within the frame-work of the Association shall be based on respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and mutual benefit, 2. Such cooperation shall not be a substitute for bilateral and multilateral cooperation but shall complement them. Such cooperation shall not be inconsistent with bilateral and multilateral obligations. ARTICLE -III Meetings of the heads of state or government. 1. The heads of state or government shall meet once a year or more often as and when considered necessary by the member states. ARTICLE-IV. A council of ministers consisting of the Foreign Ministers of the member states shall be established with the following functions : a) Formulation of the policies of the association. b) Review of the progress of cooperation under the Association. c) Decision on new areas of cooperation. 4) twrmtwfVf* to# ***** itu******P*m M1M association as deemed necessary. [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS e) Decision on other matters of general interest to the Association. 2. The council of ministers shall meet twice a year. Extraordinary session of the council may be held by agreement among the member states. ARTICLE-V STANDING COMMITTEE 1. The standing committee comprising the foreign Secretaries shall have the following functions: a) Overall monitoring and coordination of programme of cooperation, b) Approval of projects and programmes, and the modalities of their financing, c) Determination of inter-sectoral priorities. d) Identification of new areas of cooperation based on appropriate studies. 2. The standing committee shall meet as often as deemed necessary. 3. The standing committee shall submit periodic reports to the council of ministers and make reference to it as and when necessary for decisions on policy matters. ARTICLE-VI TECHNICAL COMMITTEES. 1. Technical committees comprising representatives of member states shall be responsible for the implementation , coordination and monitoring of the programmes in their respective areas of cooperation. 2. They shall have the following terms of reference : a) Determination of the potential and the scope of regional cooperation in agreed areas, [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 151 b) Formulation of programmes and preparation of proj ects, c) Determination of financial implications of sectoral programmes, d) Formulation of recommendations regarding apportionment of costs, e) Implementation and coordiantion of sectoral programmes, f) Monitoring of progress in implementation. 3. The technical committees shall submit periodic reports to the standing committee. 4. The chairmanship of the technical committees shall normally rotate among member states in alphabetical order every two years. 5. The technical committees may, inter-alia, use the following mechanisms and modalities, if and when considered necessary: a) Meetings of heads of national technical agencies, b) Meetings of experts in specific fields, c) contact amongst recognised centres of excellence in the region. ARTICLE-VII. ACTION COMMITTEES. 1. The standing committee may set up action committees comprising member states concerned with implementation of projects involving more than two but not all member states. ARTICLE-VIII. SECRETARIAT. There shall be a secretariat of the Association. .../9. [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 152

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  • ARTICLE-IX

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS. 1. The contribution of each member state towards financing of the activities of the Association shall be voluntary. 2. Each technical committee shall make recommendations for the apportionment of costs of implementing the programmes proposed by it. 3. In case sufficient financial resources cannot be mobilised within the region for funding activities of the Association, external financing from appropriate sources may be mobilised with the approval of or by the standing committee. ARTICLE-X GENERAL PROVISIONS. 1. Decisions at all level shall be taken on the basis of unanimity. 2. Bilateral and contentious issues shall be excluded from the deliberations. In faith whereof we have set our hands and seals hereunto. Done in Dhaka Bangladesh, on this the eight day of December of the year of one thousand nine hundred eighty five. Hussain Muhammad Ershad President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Jigme Singye Wangchuck Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister of the Republic of India Maumoon Abdul Gayoom President of the Republic of Maldives. Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev Minn N*w**}<« Muhammad Zia-ui-Haq President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS Dhaka Declaration of the Heads of Stat.fi or Government of the Member States of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ( SAARC) . ‘ * . The President of Bangladesh, The King of Bhutan, The Prime Minister of India , The President of Maldives, The King of Nepal, The President of Pakistan and The President of Sri Lanka met in Dhaka on 7 and 8 December 1985. 2. The Heads of State or Government underscored the historic singnificance of their first ever South Asfan Summit Meeting. They considered it to be a tangible manifestation of their determination to cooperate regionally . To work together towards finding solutions towards their common problems in a spirit of friendship, trust and mutual understanding and to the creation of an order based on mutual’ respect, equility and shared benefits.. 3. They recognised that periodic meetings at their level were central to the promotion of mutual trust and cooperation among their countries. . 4 The Heads oi state or government reaffirmed that their fundamental goal was to acclerate the procees of economic and social development in their respective countries through the optimum utiJ .zation of their human and material resources, so as to prorate the welfare and prosperity of their peoples and to improve t sir quality of life. They were conscious that peace anc security was an essential prerequisite [1986j AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS ±DH for the realisation of this objective. . 5. The leaders of the South Asian countries reaffirmed their commitment to the UN charter and the priciples governing sovereign equality of states, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs and non-use or threat of use of force against the teritorial integrity an political independence of other states. They reiterated that the United Nations constituted the most important forum for the resolution of all issues affecting international peace and security. 6. They also reaffirmed their deep conviction in the continuing validity and relevance of the objectives of the Non-aligned movement as an important force in international relations. 7. The Heads of state or government acknowledged that the countries of South Asia, who constituted one-fifth of humanity were faced with the formidable challenges posed by poverty, underdevelopment, low levels of production,unemployme and pressure of population compounded by exploitation of l - the past and other adverse legacies. They felt that, bound as countries were by many common values footed in their social, ethnic, cultural and historical traditions, regional cooperat provided a logical response to these problems. They were conscious of their individual and regional strengths, their potential as a huge market, their substantial human and nature resources and the complementarities of their economies.They were confident that with effective regional cooperation, they could make optimum use of these capacities for the benefit of their proples, acclerate the pace of their economic developmer and enhance their national and collective self-reliance. They were confident that their countries, which had made important 0.986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 155 contributions to the enrichment of human civilization,could . ' • f together play their due role in international relations and ; 1 influence decisions which affected them. ; • • 8. The Heads of state or government emphasised that strengthening of regional cooperation in South Asia required greater involvement of their peoples. They agreed to increase ; interaction and further promote people-to-people contacts at various levels among their countries. To this end, they ;

  • *

decided to take steps to create awarness and public opinion ; •in the region. . 9 The Heads of state or government welcome the progress I already made in the implementation of the integrated programme of action in the nine mutually agreed areas.They expressed their desire to consolidate and further expand cooperative ; efforts within an‘appropriate institutional framework in a 0 spirit of partnership and equality. : % * ' * 10 The leaders were convinced that they could effectively pursue their individual and collective objectives and improve the quality of life of their^peoples only in an atmosphere of peace and security. In this context, they expressed concern at the deteriorating international political situation. They were alarmed at the unprecedented escalation of arms race particularly in its nuclear aspect. They recognized that mankind today was confronted with the threat of self extinction arising from a massive accumulation of the most destructive weapons ever produced. The arms race intensified international tension and violated the principles of the UN charter. The leaders called upon the nuclear weapons-states for urgent negotiations for a comprehensive test ban treaty leading to the complete cessation of testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons In this connection they welcomed the recent meeting between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbach»v in canava and_______________ __________ [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 156 . xpressed the hope that the meeting would have a positive effect on international peace and security. 11. The Heads of state or government expressed deep concerr at the continuing crisis in the global economy. They underscore that deteriorating economic and social conditions had serious]', retarded development prospects in South Asia and other develop! countries. Sharply falling commodity prices,deterioration in the terms of trade,intensification of protectionist measures, spiralling debt burden and decline in the flow of external resources especially concessional assistance, had caused a serious setback to the economic development of the developing countries. These had been compounded by natural disasters and precarious world food security situation affecting developing countries. They also expressed concern over the diminishing capacity of international financial and technical institutions to respond effectively to the needs of the disadvantaged and poorer countries and regretted that the spirit of multilateral cooperation had begun to falter and weaken. This Was parti— .. cularly disturbing in the face of increased inter-dependence of developed and developing countries and the fact that economic revival of north was closely linked to economic progress in South. They believed that developments during the past decade. had clearly demonstrated the structural imbalances andine<3uiti: inherent in the existing international economic system and its inadequacy to deal with problems of development. 12. They strongly urged that determined efforts should be made by the international community towards realization of th, goals and targets of the International Development .strategy as well as the Substantial New Programme of Action for the least developed countries They called for urgent resumption of the north-south dialogue and early convening of an international conference on money and finance for development with universal participation.______ _______________________ ________________________ [19861 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 157 13. The Heads of state and government were conscious of the historic importance of the Dhaka summit and reiterated their conviction that the launching of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which they had established at this meeting, would place regional cooperation on a firm foundation, play an important role in accelarating the pac-; of economic and social development of their self-reliance and' further the cause of peace, progress and stability in their region and the world. 14. The Heads of state or government of Bhutan, India» Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were deeply appreciative of the examplary chairmanship of their meeting by the President of Bangladesh. They expressed their profound gratitude for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to them by the government and the people of Bangladesh and for the excellent arrangments made for the meeting. * . * Charter of the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation ( SAARC ) We»the Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, . Bhutan,India/Maldives,Nepal/Pakistan and Sri Lanka : 1. DESIROUS of promoting peace, stability, amity and progress in the region through strict adherence to the principle of the United Nations Charter and Non-Alignment, particularly respect for the principles of sovereign equality,territorial integrity, national independence, non-use of force, and noninterference in the internal affairs of other states and peaceful settlement of all disputes. 2. CONSCIOUS. that in an increasingly inter-dependent world,the objectiv* of peace, freedom, social justice and economic prosperity are best achieved by 'fostering mutual understanding, good neighbour1; relations and meaningful cooperation among the member states which are bound by ties of history and culture.

  •  %

3. AWARE . of the Common problems, interests and aspirations of the peoples of South Asia and the need for joint action and A » enhanced cooperation within their respective political and economic system and cultural traditions. 4. CONVINCED that regional cooperation among the countries of South Asia is mutually beneficial, desriable and necessary for promoting the welfare and improving the quality of life of the peoples of the region. 5. CONVINCED ' further that Economic, Social and Technical Cooperation among the countries of South Asia would contribute significantly to their national and collectiv self-r liance. [19861 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 158 [19861 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 159 6. RECOGNISING that increased cooperation, contacts land exchange

, j ' '

among the countries of the region will contribute to the promotion of friendship and understanding: among their peoples. 7. RECALLING the Declaration signed by their Foreign Ministers in New Delhi on August 2, 1983 and noting the progress achieved in regional cooperation. 8. REAFFIRMING. their determination to promote such cooperation within an institutional framework. DO HEREBY Agree to establish and organisation to be known as South Asian Association for Regional Co-operatiofi,hereinafter referred to as the Association,with the following objectives, principles,institutional and financial arrangements: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF SAARC: ARTICLE-I V. - 1. The.objectives of the Association shall be a) To promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life, b) To accelerate economic growth,social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potentials. c) To promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia. d) To contribute to mutur.:. trust, understanding and appreciation of one ar.ocher’s Problems. ’ e) To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic,social,cultural,technics: and scientific fields. f) To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries. [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 160 G) To strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interests, and H) To cooperate with international and regional • organisations with similar aims and purposes. ARTICLE-II 1. Cooperation within the frame-work of the Association shall be based on respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, . * non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and mutual benefit, 2. Such cooperation shall not be a substitute for bilatere and multilateral cooperation but shall complement them. 3. Such cooperation shall not be inconsistent^with bilateral and multilateral obligations. . V ARTICLE -III A ' Meetings of the heads of state or government?. 1. The heads of state or government shall meet once a year or more often as and'when considered necessary by the member states. ARTICLE-IV. A council of ministers consisting of the Foreign Ministers of the member states shall be established with the following functions : a) Formulation of the policies of the association. b) Review of the progress of cooperation under the Association. ' c) Decision on new areas of cooperation d) I ;tablishment of additional mechanism under the

sociation as deemed necessary.

1X986 1 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS

e) De'pision on other matters of $$neral interest* •*

to-the.Association. 2. The council of ministers shall meep twiqe a year* Extraordinary session of the council may be h^ld by agfceemc among the member states. ARTICLE-V STANDING COMMITTEE 1. The standing committee comprising the foreign Sejcref shall have the following functions: a) Overall monitoring and coordination of program*!1 of cooperation, b) Approval of projects and programmes, and the*. modalities of their financing, c) Determination of inter-sectoral priorities. d) Identification of new areas of cooperation base on appropriate studies.

2. The standing committee shall meet as often as deemec necessary. 3. The standing committee shall submit periodic reports to the council of ministers ana make reference to it as when necessary for decisions n policy matters. , ARTICLE-VI • TECHNICAL COMMITTEES. ‘ 1. Technical committees comprising representatives of member states shall be responsible for the implementation coordination and monitoring of the programmes in their respective areas of cooperation. 2 They shall have the following terms of reference : a) Determination of the potential and the scope of regional cooperation in agreed areas. [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 162 b) Formfolat-iioh of programmes and pr^pjarai^ion of ' ' prdjisfcts^ ■ ^ . ■ - . • \ . c) Determination of financial implijpfeftijb^s, of sectbfcal -programmes, . ' d) Formulation of recommendations XjfigardjLncJ apportionment of costs, • e) Implementation and coordiantion cjf . spctbral programmes, f) Monitoring of progress in implementation. 3. The technical committees shall submit •perijbdic reports' to the standing committee. 4. The chairmanship of the technical committees shair normally rotate ; among member states in alphabetical order1 every two years*. 5. The technical committees may# inter-alia, ;.use the following mechanisms and modalities, if and when 'considered •necessary: ; a) * Meetings of heads of national technical agencies b) Meetings of experts in specific fields, c) contact amongst recognised centres of excellence ■ . in the region. < * ARTICLE-VII. ACTION COMMITTEES. 1. The standing committee may set up action committees comprising member states concerned with implementation of projects involving more than two but not all member s£iattes. ARTICLE-VIII SECRETARIAT. There shall be a secretariat of the Association. ARTICLE-IX ‘ FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS. i • # 1. The contribution of each member state - towards financing of the Activities of the Associafci'oniESftVail b$'

  • ...... , .

voluntary. 2. Each technical committee shall make recommendations for the apportionment of costs of implementing tjhe prggjg^jtirc proposed by it. . . . ■ . . 3. In case^j sufficient financial resources cannot be' mobilised within ttae region for funding activities of the,. A.ssociation, external financing from apprppriate source’s ’ may be mobilised with the approval of or $y the standing committee. ARTICLE-X [1986] AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS 163 • GENERAL PROVISIONS. 1. Decisions at all level shall be taken on the bas'iiA. :cjir unanimity. < . 2. Bilateral and contentious issues shall be excluded from the deliberations. 1 : In fait^ whereof we have set our hands a&d seals hereunto. .. Done in Dhaka Bangladesh, on this the ei^ght day of December of the year of one thousand nine hundjred eight#- Hussain Muhammad Ershad President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Jigme Singye Wangchuck King of Bhutan Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister of the Republic of India Maumoon Abdul Gayoom , .. President of the Repute of Maldives. Birendra Bir Bikram, Shai King of Nepal. Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistani * ' Junius’Richard* Ja^ewardeni/president of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Iankc