The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, briefed the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, through a virtual meeting held on 28th August 2020. President Masisi assumed the Chair of the SADC Organ during the 40th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held on 17th August, 2020.
During the briefing meeting, the SADC Executive Secretary presented on the legal premise of the SADC Organ, and briefed the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on the political and security situation in the region, and on the preparations for deployment of SADC Electoral Observation Missions for elections that will be conducted during Botswana’s tenure as Chair of the Organ.
In relation to peace and security, the meeting noted that, while the region is generally peaceful and stable, there is need to remain vigilant, especially in addressing terrorism, and violent armed attacks.
In relation to the deployment of SADC Electoral Observation Missions, it was noted that the development of guidelines on election observation during pandemics is ongoing and expected to be finalized by mid-September 2020. The guidelines are to guide the region on how to deploy SADC Electoral Observation Missions during the current situation of COVID-19.
The SADC Executive Secretary also briefed the Chairperson of the Organ on progress made on the construction of the SADC Standby Force Regional Logistics Depot, which is currently on-going in Rasesa, 45km from Gaborone, Botswana.
His Excellency Dr. Masisi thanked the Executive Secretary of SADC for the detailed briefing and expressed Botswana’s commitment and readiness to steer the SADC Organ Chairpersonship, and work with the SADC Secretariat as Botswana executes her mandate from August 2020 for a period of one year.
The briefing was also attended by Hon. Dr. Lemogang Kwape, Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation and Chairperson of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ.
The SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is a structure established under Article 9 of the SADC Treaty. The general objective of the Organ is to promote peace and security in the Region.