The Incoming Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of the Republic of Zambia has pledged to provide consultative leadership to ensure sustained peace and security in the SADC region.
H.E. President Lungu said this at the State House in Lusaka on 3rd August, 2018 when the Executive Secretary of SADC, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, paid a courtesy call on the President to brief him on the regional political and security developments, ahead of the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government to take place on 17-18 August 2018 in Windhoek, Namibia during which H.E. President Lungu will assume the Chairpersonship of the SADC Organ for a period of one year.
H.E. President Lungu assured the SADC Executive Secretary that he was ready and committed to regional peace, saying that he will consult widely and tap into the experience and knowledge of the Outgoing Chairperson of the Organ and other SADC Heads of State and Government to ensure durable peace and stability in the region.
The President noted the progress on the establishment of the SADC Regional Logistics Depot (RLD) in Botswana which follows a decision by the SADC Chiefs of Defence in 2006. On this note, H.E. President Lungu said, he will discuss with H.E. President Xi Jinping of China whose government has pledged financial support for the construction of the depot. Once completed, the Regional Logistics Depot is designed to hold general purpose equipment for the police, military and civilian components of the SADC Standby Force.
On her part, H.E. Dr Tax said, while the SADC region is generally stable and peaceful, the region needs to remain vigilant, adding that peace is essential for the attainment of social and economic development.
The Executive Secretary updated H.E. President Lungu on key political and security developments and initiatives that SADC has undertaken since the last Summit held in August 2017. Among the SADC initiatives, H.E. Dr Tax cited the opening of the SADC Liaison Office in Kinshasa and continued engagement with electoral stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo in preparation for elections scheduled for 23rd December 2018; the SADC Preventive Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL); elections observation mission in Zimbabwe and the consensus government in Madagascar, following mediation efforts led by the Former President of Mozambique, H.E. Joaquim Chissano.
H.E. Dr Tax informed H.E. President Lungu that, under his Chairpersonship, the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is expected to oversee and support the preparation and holding of national elections in Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kingdom of Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, guided by the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections of 2015.
The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is established under the SADC Treaty and Article 4 of the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security stipulates that the Chairperson of the Organ, in consultation with the Troika of SADC, comprising the Current, Outgoing and Incoming Chairpersons, is responsible for the overall policy direction and achievement of the objectives of the Organ, of promoting peace and security in the SADC Region.
On 23rd July 2018 the SADC Executive Secretary also briefed the Incoming Chairperson of SADC, His Excellency Dr Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia on the state of preparedness and programme for the Summit.