The SADC Secretariat, on 23 November 2015, hosted a Regional Programme Steering Committee (RPSC) meeting to review the implementation of the SADC-UNODC Joint Regional Programme on ‘Making the SADC Region Safer from Crime and Drugs: 2013-2016’, and to identify priorities for future collaborative interventions.
The Regional Programme: 2013-2016 has three strategic pillars:
Pillar 1: Countering Illicit Trafficking and Organised Crime, which aims to strengthen regional border control and management capacities, support counter-narcotics efforts with special regard to precursor chemicals, support countries to address urban and emerging crimes, and strengthen anti money-laundering and forensic capacities in the region.
Pillar 2: Criminal Justice and Integrity,aiming to support the countries’ efforts against corruption and to strengthen the criminal justice institutions in the region by improving the effectiveness of investigation, prosecution, access to justice, fair trial and execution of penal sanctions, and by securing the protection of vulnerable groups.
Pillar 3: Improving Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Care, and HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for People Who Use Drugs, including Injecting Drug Users and in Prison Settings. This pillar seeks to support the countries to reduce the demand for drugs, prevent drug-related HIV infections, as well as HIV and AIDS in prison settings, and promote treatment to reduce health-related and social consequences.
There are three cross-cutting areas that support the implementation of these pillars. These are data collection and analysis, legislative assistance, and capacity development.
The RPSC meeting, held at SADC House in Gaborone, Botswana, was officially opened by Mr Nadir Izidine from the Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Mozambique and Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, and Ms Zhuldyz Akisheva, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Representative, also made remarks during the opening session of the meeting.
The meeting, which was attended by representatives of SADC Member States, UNODC and SADC Secretariat, was jointly organised by the UNODC Regional Office for Southern Africa and SADC Secretariat’s Directorate of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs.