The Southern African Development Community (SADC) wants Member States in the Great Lakes region to work as a collective unit in consolidating activities and mechanisms geared towards promotion of peace, security and cooperation, SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, has said.
H.E. Mr Magosi was speaking during a virtual courtesy call by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, His Excellency, Mr. Huang Xia, on 8th November 2021.
The objective of the meeting was to discuss, among other issues, the developments in the Great Lakes region regarding the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region (GLR), as well as the forthcoming Summit of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM) of the PSC Framework.
H.E Magosi ensured SADC’s continued commitment, particularly the SADC Secretariat in working with the Great Lakes region in processes to consolidate peace, stability and support to peacebuilding and regional cooperation in the Great Lakes region.
The Great Lakes Region comprises Central African Republic (CAR), Republic of Congo, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. A total of 13 countries are signatories to the PSC Framework Agreement for the Great Lakes Region and five of these are SADC Member States, namely Angola, DRC, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
H.E Magosi applauded Member States of the Great Lakes Region for their role, particularly in contributing through high level engagements amongst themselves, notably through creation of dialogue which encouraged interaction and supporting one another to unlock goodwill through deliberation on issues of concern.
He further called upon Member States in the Great Lakes region to be at the forefront in driving good governance, harnessing peace processes and sustainable utilisation of natural resources and consolidate mechanism to support such endevours.
H.E Huang expressed sincere appreciation to the SADC region for the long standing and cordial involvement in consultative processes which informed the drafting and development of UN Strategy for the Great Lakesregion, including the Action Plan to concretise it into action.
He also elaborated on the synthesis of the Great Lakes region and its challenges, opportunities, political and economic interactions, security and governance as well as pockets of threats by insurgents and armed forces in some parts of the region.
He further acknowledged that the parties were all working in good sprit of partnership and building strong collaboration with the Member States in the region, and beyond borders with the international community, donors and all associated parties. He noted that the overlapping membership and partnerships was somehow in disguise, a positive conduit to reinforcing the work and was a perfect foundation to strengthening unit and togetherness.
Furthermore, H.E Huang pointed out that the UN was in the process of reviewing the implementation of the Action Plan thus far since it’s adoption in July 2021 and that this was an opportunity for SADC to join in participatory processes and make contributions.
The SADC Secretariat agreed to appoint a focal person to work directly with the office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region as a resource link between these institutions. The technical teams were also to further engage and advance matters of importance and follow through and ensure coherence.