The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) reaffirms the commitment of SADC Member States to maintain good political, economic and corporate governance entrenched in a culture of democracy, full participation by civil society, transparency and respect for the rule of law.
The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) of the African Union is embraced as a credible and relevant continental framework, and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) is how SADC plans to achieve the objectives of NEPAD. The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan emphasises that good political, economic and corporate governance are prerequisites for sustainable socio-economic development, and that SADC’s quest for poverty eradication and deeper integration levels will not be realised in the absence of good governance.
The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is the primary institutional mechanism for promoting and maintaining peace and stability in the region and the The Harmonised Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO) II provides the institutional framework for the daily implementation of the Organ’s Objectives for the period 2010 to 2015.
The Harmonised Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO II; 2012), alongside the SADC Mutual Defence Pact of 2003, guides the implementation of the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. The Harmonised Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO II) identifies seven objectives related to improved politics and diplomacy in the SADC region for the period 2010-2015:
Objective 1: Protect people of the region against instability arising from conflict
Objective 2: Promote political cooperation among Member States; evolution of common political values and institutions.
Objective 3: Conflict prevention, management and resolution.
Objective 4: Build democratic institutions and practices, observe international human rights.
Objective 5: Observe and implement international treaty obligations (United Nations and African Union).
Objective 6: Peacekeeping capacity-building for regional and international Peace Support Operations.
Objective 7: Disaster risk management and capacity building
A number of regional institutions have been created with the aim of, among others, deepening cooperation and mutual trust among Member States. The institutions include inter alia the Inter- State Politics and Diplomacy Committee (ISPDC), SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) and the Mediation Unit. At continental level SADC has been involved in the establishment and implementation of African Union Initiatives.
Despite the above positive developments, SADC still faces a number of political, economic and social challenges. These include:
- Economic underdevelopment and poverty
- The HIV and AIDS pandemic
- Inter and intra state conflicts
- Consolidation of democracy and good governance
- Refugees, irregular movers, illegal migrants and internally displaced persons
- The need to redress imbalances in the accessibility
- The demobilisation, disarmament, reintegration and monitoring of ex-combatants
- The development and consolidation of regional disaster management mechanisms; and Corruption