The regional cooperation in the field of culture started with the First Meeting of the Technical Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture held in New Delhi in January 1989. Since then it has been an important area of cooperation among SAARC countries.The Tenth Summit recognized the profound cultural continuum of South Asia as a historical basis for sustaining harmonious relations among the peoples of the region and welcomed the offer of Sri Lanka to host a meeting of Ministers of Cultural Affairs with the objective, inter alia, of establishing a South Asian Cultural Centre. A preparatory meeting of the Secretaries of Cultural Affairs was held in Colombo in November 2001, which recommended practical measures, among others, for protection, conservation and maintenance of cultural and pilgrimage sites; development of archaeology and musicology; encouragement of contemporary arts and culture; engaging the corporate sector and non-state organizations in cultural activities; and developing cooperative links with UN and other regional institutions.The Meeting of the Cultural Affairs Ministers was held in Colombo on 5-7 February 2003. It approved measures for protection, conservation and maintenance of South Asian Cultural Heritage, and cooperation among Member States in promoting contemporary arts and culture.SAARC Cultural Festivals are held regularly. Last such festival was held in Dhaka in March 2004. The next cultural festival is to be held in New Delhi.
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