On 17 August 1992, the heads of state of countries throughout Southern Africa signed the Declaration and Treaty of the Southern African Development Community, officially creating SADC.
Along with establishing SADC, the Declaration and Treaty set out the organisation’s objectives, institutions, and systems of operation. Drawing on experience of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference, the Treaty recognises the need for stronger Regional Integration throughout Southern Africa in order to further development of the region.
The Declaration and Treaty specify areas of cooperation for the organisation’s Member States, including food security, land and agriculture; infrastructure and services; industry, trade, investment and finance; human resources development, science and technology; natural resources and environment; social welfare, information and culture; politics, diplomacy, international relations, peace and security.
As well, the Declaration and Treaty stipulate that SADC act in accordance with principles of sovereign equality of Member States; solidarity, peace and security; human rights, democracy, and the rule of law; equity, balance and mutual benefit; and peaceful settlement of disputes.