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  • Organ on Politics Defense and Security Affairs

    The Organ for Politics, Defence and Security (Organ) was launched in June 1996 as a formal institution of SADC with the mandate to support the achievement and maintenance of security and the rule of law in the SADC region. The SADC Treaty, the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO) II are the key documents that guide the activities of the Organ.

    The Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (SIPO) was developed to guide the implementation of the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. Within the structure of the SADC Secretariat, the Organ is overseen by the Executive Secretary.

    Overall Objective

    Promote Peace and Security within the SADC region.

    Specific Objectives

    The above overall objective will be realised through a series of specific objectives, as found in article 10A of the SADC Treaty:

    Military/ Defence

    • Protect against instability and intra and interstate conflict and aggression.
    • Develop a collective security capacity
    • Consider development of the Mutual Defence Pact

    Crime Prevention

    • Cross border crime and promote a community based approach to domestic security


    • Close cooperation
    • Develop democratic institutions and practices

    Peace-making & Peacekeeping Enforcement

    • Develop a regional peacekeeping capacity
    • Prevent, contain and resolve inter-and intra-state conflict by peaceful means
    • Consider enforcement action in accordance with international law and as a matter of last resort where peaceful means have failed

    Foreign policy

    • Promote co-operation & common political value systems & institutions to deal with cross border crime
    • Develop common foreign policy approaches on issues of mutual concern
    • Early warning 
    • Encourage & monitor international arms control/disarmament conventions & treaties
    • Co-ordinate participation in peace operations
    • Address extra regional conflicts which impact on the region

    Conflict Management, Prevention & Resolution

    • Conflict prevention, management and resolution
    • Mediate in inter and intra-state disputes

    Human Rights

    • Develop democratic institutions and practices
    • Encourage observance of universal human rights
    • Encourage & monitor international human rights conventions & treaties
    • Early warning

    Responsibilities of the Organ

    The Organ on Politics Defence and Security works closely with the SADC Secretariat and is responsible for the following six key areas:

    • Politics & Diplomacy – includes cooperation of governments and disaster management
    • Defence – includes the Military
    • Police (Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization- SARPCCO) – includes security of civilians
    • State Security- includes Regional Early Warning Centre (REWC) ,
    • Public Security- includes immigration, refugees, correctional services and parks and wildlife.
    • Regional Peacekeeping - includes standby force and regional peacekeeping committee

    Operational Framework

    The Organ operates as follows:

    • The Organ is coordinated through a Troika, which in-turn reports to the chairperson of SADC ;
    • The chairperson of the Organ is rotated on an annual basis;
    • The Member State holding the chairpersonship of the Organ Troika shall provide Secretariat Services.
    • The chairperson of the Organ shall not simultaneously hold the chair of the SADC Summit;
    • The structure, operations and functions of the Organ is regulated by the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation

    There are three main Committees that advise the work of the Organ. These are:

    Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) – is made up of the Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Public and State Security. Its main function is to co-ordinate the work of the Organ and its structures and Reports to the Chair of the Organ (Head of state and government chairing the Organ)

    Interstate Defence and Security Committee – Ministers of Defence, Public and State Security. It has three sub-committees, membership of which comprises of Directors General or Permanent Secretaries, namely:

    • Defence Sub-Committee ;
    • Public Security Committee; and 
    • State Security Sub-Committee.

    Inter-state, Politics and Diplomacy Committee –Comprising Ministers of Foreign Affairs

    Organisational Structure