The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 30th November, 2018 visited the INTERPOL Regional Bureau in Harare, Zimbabwe and held meeting with the Management led by Head of the Bureau, Mr Mubita Nawa. The Secretary General of INTERPOL, Mr Jurgen Stock joined the meeting through the video call from the INTERPOL Secretariat in Lyon, France. Top on issues that were discussed, was the urgent need to strengthen cooperation to fight cyber-crime, counter-terrorism and other organized crimes.
The INTERPOL Secretary General, indicated that SADC is a strategic partner in advancing the work of INTERPOL of enabling police in its member countries to work together to fight international crime. Mr Stock said the 87th INTERPOL General Assembly resolved to bring INTERPOL activities closer to its member countries, while strengthening regional bureaus across the world.
The meeting also took note on progress made towards the finalisation of the Framework Agreement between SADC and INTERPOL, which is expected to be finalized by March 2019. The Framework, aims to provide a platform of general cooperation between the two parties, In this regard, the INTERPOL Secretary General thanked the Secretariat, recognizing, the Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Jorge Cardoso and the entire Team for progress made in developing the Agreement.
In the discussion with the Management of the Bureau, H.E. Dr Tax commended the Management for the process made in the implementation of regional cooperation on crime management, and pledged continued support to the Bureau, for it to achieve its objectives, emphasising that Cyber-Crime and Counter-Terrorism pose an existential threat to peace and security of the SADC region and beyond. The meeting underscored the importance of joint planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring of activities between the INTERPOL Regional Bureau and SADC.
On this note, H.E. Dr Tax informed the Management of the Bureau that a Unit has been included in the structure of the Secretariat to among others, facilitate effective cooperation and communication between the SADC Secretariat and the Bureau. The Head of Unit is expected to assume duties by February, 2019.
The Secretary General also seized the opportunity to invite the SADC Executive Secretary to deliver a Keynote address at the 88th INTERPOL General Assembly to be held in Santiago, Republic of Chile. He said the General Assembly will be honoured to have the first woman SADC Executive Secretary address it.
H.E. Dr Tax thanked the Secretary General, and assured INTERPOL of SADC’s continued commitment to cooperate with the INTERPOL. She also congratulated INTERPOL for holding a successful 87th General Assembly in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and for increasing its membership to 194 Member States, making it one of the largest global network of countries. The SADC Executive Secretary said she was delighted to note that a citizen of the SADC Region, Mr Destino Pedro from the Republic of Angola, was elected Delegate for Africa in the INTERPOL Executive Committee, the body that sets organisational policy and direction.