Human Rights Watch Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy Mr. Bruno Stagno-Ugarte says his organization is pleased with improved SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in SADC Member States. Mr. Stagno-Ugarte said this when he paid a courtesy call to SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax in Gaborone, Botswana on the 13th of June 2017.
He said that the Human Rights Watch follows the conduct of elections within some SADC Member States, and was happy with the work of the SADC Election Observer Mission in the recent elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho, which he hoped would bring the country back to normalcy.
Dr. Tax thanked the Executive Director for visiting the SADC Secretariat and assured him that despite being at different levels of economies and democracies, all the fifteen Member States of SADC are committed to the principles of democracy and good governance.
Responding to Mr. Stagno-Ugarte's question on the SADC Tribunal, Dr. Tax explained that a new SADC Tribunal Protocol has been approved and is undergoing ratification by Member States. The new SADC Tribunal focuses on the settlement of disputes among Member States.
The meeting offered an opportunity for the Human Rights advocates and the SADC Secretariat to share ideas on how the two parties can work together in strengthening governance and human rights in the region.
Human Rights Watch Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy, who is based in Paris, France was accompanied by Director of International Human Rights for Southern Africa, Mr. Dewa Mavhinga, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.