Sri Lanka to propose ‘food crisis fund’ for SAARC

July 22nd, 2008 - 12:03 am ICT by IANS  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, July 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka Monday said it would propose for the creation of “food crisis fund” and generation of buffer stocks for the SAARC member countries to face the global food crisis. “We need to look at food requirement of a member country from the regional point of view. Creation of food crisis fund and generation of buffer stock is something that we take as an item in the agenda of the summit here,” Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told reporters here Monday.

Briefly outlining the broad structure and issues that are envisaged for discussion at the 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) here Aug 2, Bogollagama said this year’s theme would be “SAARC: Partnership for our People”.

The minister said it was a continuation of the theme from the previous year’s summit theme “connectivity”, which he said has helped enormously in terms of air traffic among the member countries.

Among the agreements to be reached during the summit, he said, were the SAARC development fund and a mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. He said this would enable the member countries to address core issues in areas including terrorism.

While the US, Japan, China, Korea, Iran, Mauritius and the EU will take part in the summit as observer states, Bogollagama said the SAARC has received two new applications from Australia and Myanmar to become observer states.

“The interest showed by these big countries proves that the SAARC is one of the best regional groupings in the world,” he said, adding that this year’s summit would continue to explore the possibility of having a “common currency formula” for the region.

“Why should we go through New York to exchange money with neighbouring India?” he asked.

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