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The Malé Declaration adopted by leaders at the South Asian Speakers’ Summit in the Maldives on September 2 “unanimously” felt that Kashmir was an “internal matter” of India and overlooked all assertions made by Pakistan on the issue.

The declaration was adopted a day after India thwarted an attempt by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue during the summit in Malé. The two countries had a heated exchange during the summit at the Maldivian Parliament where the representatives of the South Asian countries had gathered.

The South Asian Speakers’ Summit, while adopting the Malé Declaration, overlooked all assertions made by the Pakistani parliamentary delegation.

Before finalizing the declaration, speakers held a round table on the concluding day of the summit to discuss the outcome.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who was heading the Indian delegation, proposed several additions and amendments to the draft which were unanimously accepted, sources said.



The 4th South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was jointly organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the People’s Majlis in Male (Maldives) on September 1-2.

This was the fourth event in a series of Speakers’ Summits for the region on SDGs. The previous three having been hosted by the Jatiya Sangsad of Bangladesh (in 2016), the Sansad of India (in 2017) and the Parliament of Sri Lanka (in 2018).

The high-level summit allows Speakers of Parliament to continue to develop dialogue and parliamentary cooperation on achieving the SDGs. Given their legislative, oversight, representative and budgetary functions, parliaments play a key role in ensuring a sustainable future for current and future generations.

Speakers of the Parliaments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives took part in the summit.