SA hands over SADC chairship to Mozambique
17 August 2015
Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has handed over chairship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ for Peace, Politics, Defence and Security to Mozambique, following South Africa’s one year tenure.
This occurred on Monday during the 35th SADC Summit held in Gaborone, in Botswana.
“I extend our congratulations to the new Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, His Excellency President Nyusi of the Republic of Mozambique, as well as the Incoming Chair, His Excellency President Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania. We pledge our continued support to the work of the Organ,” said President Zuma on Monday.
The President thanked all Heads of State and Government for support during South Africa’s chairship of the Organ. South Africa took over the one year tenure from the Republic of Namibia at the last Summit held in Harare in, Zimbabwe, in August 2014.
The President said South Africa took over fully aware of the responsibility that lay ahead.
“We are once again honoured and privileged to have led the Organ on behalf of the region,” said President Zuma.
He was pleased that SADC regional structures remain responsive, co-ordinated and cooperative and that SADC Member States continue to be united in confronting emerging peace and security threats.
“To this extent, I am pleased to report that we have developed a comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Strategy, to ensure our preparedness in confronting these threats facing the continent and the world, today.
“Similarly, we are addressing other threats to our regional stability such as the risks of natural disasters, poverty and underdevelopment. As a region, we have committed ourselves to ensuring that our regional early warning system is improved to ensure that it provides effective and efficient alerts to potential areas of insecurity and instability,” he said.
The President also called for ongoing support for sister countries in the region that continued to require support due to having pockets of conflict, and urged South Africa’s continued support in this regard.
“With regards to the DRC, President Zuma called for the full implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework on the DRC and the region, as well as the Nairobi Declaration,” said the Presidency.
He urged for continued support for the positive developments witnessed in the Republic of Madagascar since 2013, and said SADC should continue to support the processes of national reconciliation, constitutional reform and the consolidation of democracy.
“As a region, we call upon the government and people of Madagascar to ensure that they safeguard the positive gains they have made, by fully supporting the process of nation-building and the implementation of the SADC Roadmap,” he said.
The Presidency said he commended SADC Member States for their contribution towards the SADC Observer Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SOMILES) and the commitment towards achieving peace and stability in the country.
The President also commended the continued growth and deepening of democracy in the SADC region, as demonstrated by the peaceful elections and increased participation of citizens in the choice of their governments and leaders.
"During our tenure as the Chair of the Organ, we led six SADC Electoral Observer Missions to the Republics of Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia and to the Kingdom of Lesotho," said the President.
The President congratulated the Heads of State and Government on their election, including President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President Dr. Hage Geingob, Prime Minister Aneerood Jugnauth, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
“I am pleased to note that following a comprehensive and inclusive consultative process, the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections have been adopted by the Summit,” said President Zuma.
He said through it, SADC would continue to build on its institutional knowledge of election observation and strengthen good governance in our region.
AMANI AFRICA II
The SADC region will later this year host the first continental Field Training Exercise, AMANI AFRICA II, to operationalise the African Standby Force.
President Zuma said South Africa has volunteered to host this exercise, which will take place from 19 October to 7 November 2015.
“We urge Member States to support this important exercise, which contributes towards the strengthening of our deployment of Peace Support Operations,” he said.