ISLAMABAD: Young parliamentarians of the South Asian Association for Regional

Cooperation (SAARC) countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in diverse fields including

energy, trade, security, and to ease process of visa and travel arrangements.

An understanding to this effect came in a joint statement issued on the conclusion of the first two-

day and#39;Young Parliamentarians Conferenceand#39; in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The conference laid stress on developing mechanisms for strengthening cooperation in climate

change, environment, education, tourism, and sports, said a statement.

Earlier, addressing the concluding ceremony, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq

said the conference would help to improve Pakistanand#39;s image abroad.

He termed the youth to be the decisive power and urged them to actively involve themselves in

politics. andquot;The youth should hold us accountable wherever we go wrong,andquot; he said. The speaker

desired that the foreign delegates should interact with the youth of Pakistan by visiting different


The convener of the conference, Malik Uzair, presented the conference declaration. He

emphasised the need to institutionalise the SAARC Young Parliamentariansand#39; Forum.

He said that there is a need to adopt the SAARC youth charter to strengthen the voice of youth of

the region, and added that there was also a need to strengthen mechanisms for cooperation and

institutionalisation of the SAARC efforts for climate change, environment, energy and trade

facilitation among member states.

He said promotion of inter-SAARC education, sports, tourism and cultural exchanges; including

arranging sports fixtures among teams of SAARC parliamentarians could promote people-to-

people contact for peace, harmony and development of the SAARC region.

SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa, EU delegation acting head of Pakistan Stefano

Gatto, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, Conference convener Malik Muhammad

Uzair Khan and other parliamentarians including Shaza Fatima Khawja, Nafeesa Shah, Ayesha

Raza Farooq, Syed Ali Raza Abidi and Marriyum Aurangzeb were also present.

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