BY ZBC Reporter
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the socio-economic landscape, peace, and security within the SADC region, calling for concerted efforts from member states.
This was said by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo while addressing the 22nd SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation this Thursday.
In his opening remarks addressing a video conference of the 22nd SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo underscored the need by SADC member states to be innovative in the face of security challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These emerging challenges call for the region to remain vigilant and innovative in devising ways of addressing the security impacts of COVID-19 in a holistic manner. Noting that the impact of COVID-19 cut across sectors, Member
States have put in place a number of measures that have significantly contributed to the containment of its spread, and in cushioning its negative impacts on SADC economies and livelihoods of citizens.”
He commended SADC member state for adopting a multi-stakeholder approach in the fight against the pandemic.
“May I commend SADC Member States for adopting a multi-stakeholder approach in addressing COVID-19, which is yielding positive results. This notwithstanding, as we battle with COVID-19, lives have been lost. May I express our condolences and solidarity with the SADC citizens who have lost their loved ones, and to governments who have lost frontline workers due to COVID-19 and other related causes.”
Dr. Moyo said SADC must consolidate its sovereign control over its political and governance affairs through self-financing of its programmes.
“Whereas as a region we embrace regionalism, hand in hand with globalism and partnership principles, our definition of democracy is also premised on the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty. As part of the consolidation of democracy, SADC deploys Electoral Observation Missions to member States.
“In order to avoid compromising our sovereignty and territorial integrity, the deployment of SADC Electoral Observation Missions should be done through our own financial and human resources. The ownership of our democratic processes provides us with an opportunity to collectively identify and address potential threats to peace and security, such as external interference and cybercrime, which include social media abuse.”
The SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is a SADC arm mandated with supporting the achievement and maintenance of security and the rule of law in the region.