The new United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Botswana Ms. Jacinta Barins, met the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 27th February 2017 in Gaborone, Botswana to discusses areas of collaboration.
Ms. Jacinta Barins thanked Dr Tax for according her the opportunity for a meeting and pledged continued support to the SADC Secretariat. Ms. Barins said the UN was working with the Government of Botswana in areas of policy to ensure relevance and alignment of the Sustainable Development Goals with national plans and programmes. She also informed the SADC Executive Secretary of a meeting scheduled to take on the 4th April 2017 that will bring together Senior UN Officers.
Dr. Tax welcomed Ms. Barins to Botswana and SADC, and congratulated her for her appointment as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. She thanked the UN for the continued support to SADC Secretariat, and bilaterally to SADC Member States, through various projects and programmes that contribute to the growth and development of the Region.
The SADC Executive Secretary thanked the UN Agencies for supporting the Region in developing the Humanitarian Appeal as well as supporting Member States following the 2015/2016 El-Niño-induced drought. Dr Tax re-affirmed the Secretariat’s continued cooperation with UN Agencies and emphasized the need synergies and consider having a joint MoU between the UN and SADC. Currently SADC has MoUs with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Department of Political Affairs(DPA)and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Dr Tax briefed Ms. Barins on SADC’s regional programme which is based on the four pillars outlined in the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020 and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (SIPO), namely; Industrial Development and Market integration; Infrastructure Support for Regional Integration; Peace and Security Cooperation; and Special Programmes of Regional Dimension.
The two parties agreed to continue working together, in particular in streamlining priority areas of collaboration, and to explore ways of utilizing the presence of the UN Senior Officials in April through the meeting between the UN and SADC Secretariat.