SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax and representatives of the SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC C-NGO) met at SADC Headquarters on14 June 2016.
The Secretariat and the SADC-CNGO agreed to make a greater effort to implement the areas outlined in their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation. The MoU seeks to create an environment for analysis and dialogue between SADC and Civil Society on critical issues facing the SADC region, and build sustainable synergies between civil society and SADC in the regional integration process.
Closer collaboration is to be further realised through implementation of the conclusions of the SADC Strategic Retreat of March 2017 and, more importantly, the Revised RISDP 2015 – 2020. This was revealed at the meeting between the
The Executive Secretary reaffirmed her intentions to continue to work closely with SADC C-NGO, citing the regional body as an important stakeholder recognised by the March 2017 Ministerial Retreat. She highlighted progress that the Secretariat had made towards preparing a framework of engagement between SADC and non-state stakeholders in the regional integration process. The framework was submitted to the SADC Council of Ministers in August 2016, and is undergoing finalisation.
They deliberated on the need to meet more frequently to discuss, among other things, operationalisation of the SADC Regional Poverty Observatory, the main elements of the SADC C-NGO campaign – the SADC WE WANT, roll-out of the SADC Monitoring & Evaluation system, implementation of the MoU and Common Plan of Action, as well as C-NGO’s contribution to the implementation of the conclusions of the Ministerial Retreat, to mention a few. Meanwhile, the SADC Secretariat continues to engage SADC Member States in sessions to explain the main features and objectives of the draft framework of engagement between SADC and non-state stakeholders.
SADC C-NGO urged the two sides to involve civil society in policy-making at all levels and reinvigorate the overall cooperation between civil society and SADC policy organs. As a starting point, CNGO invited SADC to the CNGO Forum scheduled for 14th August, 2017.
SADC C-NGO is a regional umbrella body of NGOs operating in all SADC Member States. It was formed in 1998 to facilitate effective and meaningful engagement between civil society in the region and SADC institutions at national and regional levels.