22-23 April 2010
VENUE: Jawaharlal Nehru University
School of Social Sciences Auditorium
On 22-23 April 2010, more than 150 activists representing democratic organisations from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives and about 350 activists from India will converge in the Indian capital for a conference entitled “Assembly towards Union of South Asian Peoples”.
Also joining the conference are several serving parliamentarians of South Asia, including Binda Pandey from Nepal; Senator Malik from Pakistan and Mani Shankar Aiyer from India – together they would lead debates around the question of a strong “South Asian Identity” leading to people’s collaborative action and campaigns across borders for just peace and development in the region.
The conference is being organised in keeping with the idea of a Peoples South Asia in the week preceding the SAARC heads of government summit in Thimpu, Bhutan, from 28-29 April 2010. It would be a non-competing gathering with other conferences, demonstrations, discussions, and strategy meetings aiming to influence the discussions at the summit.
The South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) was created with the aim of promoting ‘the welfare of the people of South Asia’. Yet, for the most part it has been a forum at which our governments posture against one another or put in place agreements to serve the interests of the ruling class. SAARC has comprehensively failed to take up issues confronted by the people of this region, which is home to the largest number of the world’s working poor. Furthermore, governments in the sub-continent are entertaining and competing with each other in allowing the U.S. to expand its interests in the sub-continent.
Some organisations from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka had met in Kathmandu on 13-14 February 2010 to address these issues, deliberate on the ongoing process of People’s SAARC, and organise actions around the upcoming SAARC summit. A national level meeting on 20 March 2010 in New Delhi decided to organise People’s SAARC 2010 under the banner of Union of South Asian Peoples.
The conference is marked by a number of thematic workshops addressing key issues of the region including climate justice and economic cooperation; building a people’s foreign policy, and conceptualisation of a people’s union of South Asia, keeping in mind the process of PSAARC so far.
For further details contact
Kamal Mitra Chenoy: 9810060481, Dhananjay Tripathi: 9312691435, Geetha Bhardwaj: 9810548262, Jamal Kidwai: 9810676740, Rakhi Sehgal: 9911599955
On behalf of