The SADC Vision 2050 and RISDP 2020-30, approved by Heads of State and Government at their 40th Summit in August, envision a peaceful, middle- to high-income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.
Vision 2050 seeks to consolidate the Community by leveraging areas of excellence and implementing priorities to achieve sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development underpinned by good governance and durable peace and security in the region.
The Support to Peace and Security in the SADC Region (SPSS) Programme launched in April 2019 aims to promote peace, security and democracy in the region and dove-tails with SADC's Vision 2050 in fostering a conducive and peaceful environment to enable the regional integration project.
The SPSS Programme is funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for a duration of three-and-half years to the tune of €15 million. The Programme is designed to strengthen the capacity of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to promote peace, security and democracy across the SADC Region in line with the SADC Treaty and the Protocol on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation of 2001.
SPSS aims to strengthen SADC's peace and security architecture through implementing the objectives of the revised Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO II). Under SIPO II, SADC regional cooperation on peace and security is divided into five sectors which are the Political, Defence, State Security, Public Security, and Police sectors.
The SPSS Programme builds on the gains made by the Regional Political Cooperation (RPC) Programme launched in 2012 under the 10th EDF which has contributed significantly to strengthening SADC's capacities to enhance democratic institutions, conflict prevention and management mechanisms.
The SPSS Programme is in line with the SADC vision and aspirations as outlined in the SADC Treaty, in particular Articles 4 and 5 which show that that peace, security and governance issues are at the very core of SADC's regional integration agenda.
Under Vision 2050, SADC Member States "commit to upholding the core principles of the Community, namely the sovereign equality of all Member States; solidarity, peace and security; human rights, democracy and the rule of law; equity, balance and mutual benefit; and the peaceful settlement of disputes".
The Vision seeks the removal of all barriers to deeper regional integration, guided by the objectives and principles of the SADC Treaty and Common Agenda.
In building the foundation for Peace, Security and Democratic Governance, SADC envisions to remain a peaceful and stable region, which is seen as a necessary condition for ensuring the attainment of the objectives of socio-economic development, poverty eradication, and regional integration by 2050.
This is expected to be achieved through the strengthening of the regional early warning systems as well as conflict prevention, management, and resolution mechanisms to enable the region to track and monitor political, security and socio-economic threats before they become serious problems.
The strategic framework informing the RISDP 2020-2030 includes a commitment to upholding the core principles of the Community, namely: the sovereign equality of all Member States; solidarity, peace and security; human rights, democracy and the rule of law; equity, balance and mutual benefit; and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The SPSS Programme supports all five sectors of the Organ namely the Political, Defence, State Security, Public Security, and Police sectors.
The Political Sector deals with national government and state and/or foreign affairs; the Defence Sector deals mostly with military matters and is responsible for peace, stability and security affairs, while the State Security Sector deals with intelligence or national security and is concerned with threats against governments or Member States.
The Public Security Sector focusses on the protection of civil society, including emergency management, justice, immigration and organised crime; and the Police Sector works with law enforcement agencies responsible for transnational organised crimes such as drug trafficking, cybercrime, unlawful possession of firearms and stock or property theft.
A peaceful and secure SADC will continue to retain its status as a middle- to high-income industrialised region on the continent, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.