The Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax held a meeting with the European Union (EU) Managing Director for Africa in the European External Action Service (EEAS), Mr Koen Vervaeke, on 27th January 2017. The objective of the meeting was to discuss cooperation on issues of mutual interest between the SADC and EU.
Among other things, the meeting noted that preparations were already underway for the fifth Africa-EU Summit that is scheduled to take place in November 2017, and that the theme of the Summit would be focusing on the "Youth". The meeting also noted that the next SADC-EU Ministerial Political Dialogue Meeting was scheduled to take place in the SADC Region in 2017, before the Africa-EU Summit and highlighted the need for close collaboration in preparing for the Summit.
The meeting also discussed the EU support under the Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the SADC-EU cooperation. The APSA embraces a comprehensive agenda for peace and security in Africa that among others include; early warning and conflict prevention; peace-making, peace support operations, peace building and post conflict reconstruction and development and promotion of democratic practices, good governance and the respect for human rights, which will be among the strategic issues to be discussed during the Ministerial Political Dialogue Meeting.
The meeting also discussed the political situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Parties noted the positive progress made, and reiterated the importance of supporting the Kingdom of Lesotho. In relation to the DRC, they reiterated the need to support the country in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement, which was built on the October 2016 Global Political Agreement towards the holding of transparent and peaceful elections.
It was noted that SADC would soon undertake a follow up Assessment Mission to the DRC that will build on the recommendations of the first missions.