The Southern African Development Community (SADC) continues to be ready and willing to co-operate with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in fighting terrorism, as this remains a huge challenge within the Region, thus threatening peace and stability, SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, has said.
Speaking during her virtual meeting with Mr Vladimir Voronkov, the Under Secretary-General of the UNOCT, on 2 February 2021, H.E Dr Tax commended UNOCT for the cooperation that continues to exist with SADC in a number of areas of collaboration, both at the national and regional levels.
The cooperation between SADC and UNOCT dates back to 2015 following the process of development and adoption of Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy for Southern Africa by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Mr. Voronkov thanked Dr. Tax for the warm welcome and assured her of the UNOCT's and his personal commitment to work with SADC on the existing areas of cooperation as well as on new potential areas of collaboration to strengthen the existing partnership between the two parties. In this relation, the Under Secretary-General of the UNOCT assured the SADC Executive Secretary the commitment by UNOCT to support SADC in the implementation of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy and in the establishment and operationalisation of a SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre.
The Under Secretary General, further pointed out that he is looking forward to the enhancement of cooperation with SADC Member States on matters pertaining to South-South Cooperation. South-South Cooperation means countries of the Global South helping each other by sharing technical or economic knowledge and skills to facilitate development.
Mr. Voronkov also briefed Dr. Tax on the upcoming 2021 Counter-Terrorism week and related activities which will take place in June 2021 and implored SADC to participate as it offers a good platform for countries to share ideas on dealing with threats posed by terrorism.
The two leaders agreed to establish a joint technical team of experts to concretise areas of collaboration and their mode of operating.