The Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians was set up in 1992 with the vision to promote friendship and understanding amongst the peoples of South Asia, promote co-ordination and exchange of information among the Parliaments and Parliamentarians of SAARC countries and provide a forum for exchange of ideas and information on parliamentary procedures and practices of the region.
The first conference of the ASSP was held in India in 1995, followed by the second in Pakistan in 1997, the third in Bangladesh in 1999, the fourth in Sri Lanka in 2006, the fifth in India in 2011, the sixth in Pakistan in 2012, and the last one in Maldives in 2013.
The 08th Conference, organized by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, will bring together Speakers and Parliamentarians from the member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
The conference will be inaugurated by His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka, and Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister and Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs will deliver the key note address at the Opening Ceremony to be held on 04th October 2017. Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, MP, Speaker of Parliament will grace the occasion delivering the welcome speech at the inauguration.
This year’s Conference is expected to place particular emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals, as the main theme will be ‘Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians’: a platform for the Parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. The General Assembly also expects to hold discussions on “Promoting Parliamentary Diplomacy and Open Parliament in the age of digitalization” and “SAARC Parliamentarians’ role in preserving Cultural and Archaeological Heritage in South Asia Region”.
Meeting of the Women Parliamentarians’ Committee will be centred on the topic “Supporting Women to upheave themselves from poverty and build better futures for their communities.”
This year’s conference will also have the first ever meeting of the Young Parliamentarians’ Committee which will discuss on “Countering violent extremism among youth to prevent terrorism and empowering youth to combat human trafficking, modern slavery and illegal trafficking in drugs.”
The conference will be followed by an excursion to Kandy (Dalada Maligawa and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage) on 06th October, arranged for the participants by the Parliament of Sri Lanka.