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SAARC: Towards Greater Connectivity

The prospects for SAARC are better today than perhaps at any time in its history. Even as some countries are passing through degrees of political transition, each state is faring remarkably well economically with rising GDP growth rates and buoyancy in economic indicators. This potential can be harnessed to promote further growth and to remove socio-economic deprivations by developing greater connectivity in the region and by harmonizing mutual strengths. It is with this aim that the IPCS, with support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF) organized a conference on ‘SAARC: Towards Greater Connectivity’ in January 2008. In four working sessions the conference explored different facets of connectivity and elicited views and opinions from an eminent group of South Asian scholars and professionals to recommend measures to implement the vision of the South Asian leaders.

The proceedings of this conference were published as a book in Colombo in July 2008

Programme (15-16 January 2008)

Mr. Joerg Wolff/Maj Gen Dipankar Banerjee
Amb. Eric Gonsalves, Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs
Mr. IK Gujral, Former Prime Minister of India                             
Amb. Nihal Rodrigo, Former SG, SAARC 
Amb. IP Khosla, Convener, International Affairs, IIC
Connectivity through Developing Complementary Infrastructure                          
Amb. IP Khosla, Convener, International Affairs, IIC                            
Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce, Government of India                             
Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya, Joint Secretary (SAARC), Ministry of External Affairs, India
Mr. Prateek Pradhan, Editor, Kathmandu Post
Prof. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, President, IPRI                            

Connectivity through Trade in Goods and Services
Amb. QAMA Rahim, Former SG, SAARC
Prof. Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka
Mr. TCAS Raghavan, Consulting Editor, Business Standard

Connectivity on Energy and Harmonisation of Resources
Dr. Rifaat Hussain, Executive Director, RCSS, Colombo
Amb Shafi Sami, former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh
Mr. Nitya Nanda, Fellow, Centre for Global Agreements, Legislations and Trade, TERI

Connectivity through People and Ideas
Amb. Bhek Bahadur Thapa, Former Foreign Minister of Nepal
Dr. Nischal Nath Pandey, Director of the South Asia Foundation, Kathmandu
Mr. Mangala Moonesinghe, Chairman, Marga Institute, Colombo & Dr. Rahul Tripathi, Department of Political Science, Goa University
Amb. Wali-ur Rahman, Director, Institute of Law and International Affairs, Dhaka

Amb. Salman Haidar, Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India
Mr. Muchkund Dubey, Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India
Mr. Joerg Wolff, Resident Representative, KAF (India)


The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

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