The Regional Director for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for Eastern and Southern Africa, Ms. Leila Pakkala met the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence on 4th April 2017 in Gaborone, Botswana. The Regional Director formally introduced the UNICEF Country Representative to Botswana and SADC, Ms. Julianna Lindsey.
Ms. Pakkala underlined that her Organization sees SADC as a longtime partner and that the time was right to further strengthen relations with SADC. She expressed her commitment towards deepening ties between her organization and SADC.
The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax welcomed and congratulated Ms. Julianna Lindsey for her appointment as Country Representative to Botswana and SADC, and thanked UNICEF for the continued support to SADC Secretariat and Southern African region as a whole. She further highlighted that SADC recognizes UNICEF as an important developmental partner with keen interest to provide technical support in strengthening both social and economic integration of the region. Dr. Tax commended the UNICEF and other United Nations agencies for the humanitarian support following the Regional Appeal that was launched in response to the devastating effects of the El-Niño-induced drought in 2016. She informed Ms. Pakkala that among others, SADC has prepared a Disaster Management Strategy and would like to operationalize it in collaboration with key stakeholders such as UNICEF. She reiterated the focus of SADC on Industrialisation, calling upon UN Agencies to support SADC in this important endeavor in the socio-economic transformation of the SADC region.
The two Parties reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together to promote regional integration for mutual benefits.