The SADC Secretariat through the Directorate of the Organ held consultations on 16 April 2018 with the Republic of Zambia being the in-coming Chair of the Organ, from August 2018 to August 2019. The Zambian delegation was led by Ms. Isabel Limbe, the Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was aimed at preparing the Republic of Zambia on their roles and responsibilities during their tenure at the helm of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The meeting, among others discussed the roles and responsibilities of the Organ Chair in line with the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO) for 2016-2020, and the schedule of organ statutory meetings and the respective levels of participation. The Zambian delegation was also appraised on the current SADC missions in the Region and Schedule of on coming elections in the region for the period 2018-19. Additionally, the meeting discussed the Minimum Standards for hosting of SADC meetings.
Prominent during the meeting was the issue of the of elections that will take place within the region during the tenure of Zambia as the Chair of the Organ. The in- coming chair was appraised on the following indicative schedule of elections in the region: Zimbabwe (July/August 2018), Kingdom of Swaziland (September 2018), Madagascar (November/December 2018), Democratic Republic of Congo (23 December, 2018), Malawi (May 2019) and the Republic of South Africa (TBC-between April and August 2018). The elections are held as part of upholding SADCs continued commitment to maintaining its democratic credentials and governance principles in ensuring that Governments in the region are democratically elected. The Chair of the Organ amongst others has the responsibility to lead the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to ensure that the elections in the SADC region are held in accordance with the Revised Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.