The SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay to South Africa, His Excellency, Dr. Cesar Eneas Rodriguez Zavalla in Gaborone, Botswana on 3rd April 2019.
HE. Zavalla thanked H.E. Dr. Tax for the opportunity to work with SADC, stating that he was looking forward to building a strong and cordial relationship between the parties, and assured the Secretariat that the Uruguayan Embassy in South Africa was poised to serve as the hub of the region. He further indicated that his assignment to the SADC region was a testimony that the Republic of Uruguay values south–south cooperation and further reflects on the importance that his Government attaches to SADC as a platform for policy coordination and cooperation for the development of the region. He said that his Government was willing to engage further on various areas of cooperation, especially on water management and food and agriculture. Uruguay is one of the countries in Latin America that has achieved quasi universal coverage of access to safe drinking water supply and adequate sanitation.
Her Excellency Dr. Tax welcomed His Excellency Ambassador Zavalla to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and congratulated him for presenting his credentials. She further expressed SADC’s gratitude to the Republic of Uruguay for the appointment of a representative to SADC. She said the SADC Secretariat was prepared to explore areas of cooperation in order to foster meaningful mutual relations with the Republic of Uruguay. She further provided a brief overview of SADC, highlighting the four (4) priority areas of regional integration namely: Industrial Development and Marketing Integration; Infrastructure in Support of Regional Integration; Peace and Security Cooperation; and Special Programmes of Regional Dimension which are aimed at the advancement of the regional integration agenda. She explained that the role of the SADC Secretariat was to coordinate SADC’s delivery on its promise of socio-economic transformation, and maintenance of political stability, peace and security in the region, through the implementation of the revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO).
With regard to the recent aftermath of cyclone Idai, the Executive Secretary stated that a Humanitarian Appeal will be launched on 11th April 2019, in Windhoek, Namibia, by His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingop, the President of the Republic Namibia, and Chairperson of SADC, and called upon all Partners to support Member States that have been affected. She further indicated that the region is in the process of finalising a regional mechanism to deal with such disasters.
Both parties are looking forward to strengthening ties of friendship and cooperation.