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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established when its Charter was formally adopted on December 8, 1985 by the Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the First Summit meeting in Dhaka.
Afghanistan was admitted as the eighth Member of the SAARC during the Fourteenth Summit held in New Delhi on 3-4 April 2007.
The SAARC Charter has 10 Articles which deal with the Objectives, Principles, Organization, Meetings, Secretariat and Financial Arrangements of the SAARC.
The apex forum of the SAARC is the Summit Meeting of the Heads of State or Government which takes place once a year or more often as and when considered necessary by the Member States. A Council of Ministers consisting of the Foreign Ministers of the Member States meets twice a year, while a Standing Committee of the Foreign Secretaries meets as often as deemed necessary. Technical Committees of representatives of Member States on specific subjects are responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the programmes in their respective areas of cooperation.
SAARC Secretariat located at Kathmandu provides support to the SAARC in carrying out its day to day activities.