The Ambassador of Ireland to South Africa, and Representative of Ireland to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), His Excellency Mr. Liam Mac Gabhann presented his credentials to the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 27th June 2019 at the SADC Head Office in Gaborone, Botswana.
Ambassador Gabhann thanked H. E Dr. Tax for receiving and accepting his credentials as the Irish representative to SADC. He indicated that his country was pleased to have a strong affiliation with the SADC region, and pointed out to a number of key programmes achieved within the SADC region at the national level, including in conflict resolution, peace and security, as well as gender matters. He said his government was willing to broaden the scope of work in SADC in order to strengthen collaboration. He also pointed out that his government was willing, within the framework of the European Union, to ensure that SADC Member States realise benefits accruing from the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), an Agreement which is intended to promote trade between SADC and EU, and ultimately contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction.
H.E Dr. Tax welcomed the Ambassador and acknowledged the existing cordial relations between the two organisations, as partners to socio - economic development. She pointed out that areas of conflict resolution, women, peace and security as well as trade and investment as pointed out by the Ambassador were in line with SADC priorities as contained in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation (SIPO). Dr. Tax further appreciated the Republic of Ireland’s commitment to assist the region to benefit from the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement, especially by working together to address the supply side constraints which have been major impediments to the realisation of EPA intended benefits to SADC Member States.
As a quick win, the two parties agreed to explore further on how to effectively collaborate in the areas of Sanitary and Phytosanotary (SPS) measures and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) in order to provide assistance to SADC EPA States to access the EU market through trade under the Economic Partnership Agreement.