SADC Executive Secretary H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax has paid tribute to the Republic of South Africa for its leadership in steering the region to new levels of peace, security, political stability and good governance since taking over the chairpersonship of the Organ in August 2014.
Addressing the closing session of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in Pretoria today, Dr. Tax singled out the statesmanship and steadfast leadership provided by His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, with the able assistance of His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho; and Honourable Nkoana-Mashabane and all the organs of the South African state.
She said “Under the leadership of the Republic of South Africa, and in tandem with the directives of Summit and Council, the Secretariat made all efforts to strengthen peace, security, and consolidation of democracy and good governance in the region. Since the last MCO meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia in August 2014, SADC successfully observed elections in the Republics of Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius, the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Presidential By-elections in the Republic of Zambia”. The SADC Executive Secretary pointed out that the focus of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation during the year 2014/2015 has been on strengthening existing peace, defense, security, democracy, and good governance. “This is in recognition of the fact that peace and stability are prerequisites for sustainable economic integration and development in the region”, she said.
Dr. Tax also paid tribute to SADC Member States for their immense contribution towards the maintenance of peace, security, stability and good governance through their deployment of personnel in peace and security missions in the region, including, but not limited to elections observations. She said “The human, financial and material contribution by Member States to these missions is welcome, and efforts should be made to ensure that these undertakings are sustained more vigorously and robustly”.
Insert photo: SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax and Honourable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the MCO.