|Katibu Mtendaji wa SADC, Mhe. Dkt. Stergomena LawrenceTax naye akihutubia kwenye mkutano huo mara baada ya kufunguliwa.|
|Viongozi mbalimbali kutoka nchi wanachama wa SADC wakisikiliza kwa makini Hotuba iliyotolewa na Dkt. Mahiga Hayupo pichani.|
|Dkt. Augustine Mahiga (Mb.) akipeana mkono wa pongezi na Dkt. Stergomena L.Tax mara baada ya kumaliza kutoa hotuba ya Ufunguzi|
Hon. Georges Rebelo Chicoti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Angola and Incoming Chairperson of the Organ;
Hon. Oldemiro Julio Marques Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Mozambique and Outgoing Chairperson of the Organ;
You Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, The Executive Secretary of SADC
Distinguished Senior Officials and Delegates from SADC Member States
Partners from the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is my greatest pleasure to warmly welcome you to the 19th Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation which is being held here at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre, named after Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, The Father of the Nantion and Father of the Southern Africa Liberation and one of the Founding Fathers of the Southern Africa Development Community. He was a moving force for the independence of most of the our countries. Mwalimu Nyere worked together with His Colleagues in a united front for common security and for majority rule in most of the Southern African Countries and this was a forerunner of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
ladies and Gentlemen,
I am particularly happy to welcome the Ministers who are visiting Dar es Salaam for the first time. I trust that if not now, you may have the opportunity to return for a more leisurely stay in the future as Tanzania has always been your second home. We are delighted to have you in our midst at this meeting, which marks yet another important footstep towards deeper integration of our region and a near completion of our work within the Organ before handling the chair during the 37th Summit, which we will attend in the Republic of South Africa in August 2017.
We trust that you will find the arrangements put at your disposal conducive to the successful deliberations and your usual comfort.
I wish to take this opportunity to convey special thanks to the Secretariat and my team for their excellent preparations and coordination that have made the convening of this meeting a success.
ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me Honourable Ministers, to also relay fraternal greetings from H.E. Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and current Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation who strongly believes that our meeting here today is a clear demonstration of our collective and unwavering commitment towards building a regional block that is peaceful, stable, secure, prosperous and united.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Before I begin my remarks, allow me Your Excellencies, to pay homage to one of the founding fathers of SADC and former President of the Republic of Botswana, H.E. Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, who recently passed away. President Masire served as the Chairperson of SADC’s predecessor the Southern African Development Coordination Conference, for 16 consecutive years between 1980–1996. I would thus like to propose that we observe a moment of silence in memory of this gallant son of the Region.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Since our last meeting in August 2016, there has been relative peace and stability in the region. This was accompanied by a number of commendable milestones in the political sphere. Among others, the SADC Oversight Committee for the Kingdom of Lesotho was operationalised and deployed to assist the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho in the reform process aimed at facilitating the realization of lasting peace and political stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho. Since October 2016, the Oversight Committee has undertaken 4 Assessment Missions to the Kingdom of Lesotho. Furthermore, the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) deployed two electoral assessment missions to engage stakeholders in Lesotho in order to assess the Kingdom’s preparedness to hold democratic elections.
With SADC support, the Kingdom of Lesotho successfully conducted National Assembly Elections on 3rd June 2017. It is our hope that this will immensely contribute to durable peace, stability and tranquillity in the Kingdom of Lesotho. The deployment of the SEAC and the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) adequately covered the electoral process, which greatly contributed to the peaceful elections, leading to a new coalition government in the country. This is indeed commendable.
It is therefore, my singular honour to welcome the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of the Kingdom of Lesotho Honourable Lesego Makgothi, and his delegation to this meeting.
Ladies and Gentlemen
With regards to the DRC, a number of Assessment Missions were undertaken. These include the February 2017 Technical Assessment Mission, the March 2017 SEAC Goodwill Mission, the April 2017 SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika and the Double Troika Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries Assessment Missions. These missions greatly assisted in providing the Region’s leadership to preserve and maintain peace and political stability in the DRC.
Let me highlight that in spite of these efforts, the situation in the DRC remains very fragile and complex, calling for a redoubling of efforts from all quarters, in particular from the Congolese leadership and citizens at large, to work together to overcome the political, constitutional, economic, security and humanitarian challenges that the country is facing.
Ladies and Gentlemen
decisionsCenciesn from ely contribute to lasting peace and stabilty he secretariat to undertake
There has also been notable progress regarding the implementation of your committee’s 2016 decisions such as the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day; the request from the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Burundi to join SADC; the mechanism to honour the Founding Fathers of SADC, including a proposal to construct a Statue of His Excellency, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania at the African Union Commission. These will be tabled during this meeting for our discussion.
Among others, the meeting will also review progress and consider the SADC Common Position on the implementation of the AU Draft Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons; the SADC Standby Force Command, Control, Communication and Information System Concept; the Design and Layout of the Regional Logistics Depot as the Executive Secretary indicated in her remarks and the Memorandum of Understanding between SADC and the Russian Federation in the Area of Military and Technical Cooperation, just to mention a few.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Allow me to emphasize the importance of the Regional Logistics Depot. Following the attainment of the Full Operational Capability with the successful conduct of the Exercise AMANI AFRICA in 2015, the ability and credibility of Regional Economic Communities and the AU, in addressing African problems with African solutions will be tested. The construction of the infrastructure required to assist the operations of the SADC Standby Force is therefore very critical. In this regard, SADC must take leadership and be one the first Regional Economic Community to establish a fully functional Logistics Depot. This is particularly so, considering that our region will be on Standby as part of the Africa Standby Roaster, during the period 01 January to 30 June 2019.
Let me also inform you that in line with Article 7 (1) of the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, State Parties undertook to develop and harmonise their policies and domestic legislation for the attainment of the purpose of this Protocol. Thus, I am pleased to inform you that the inaugural meeting of the SADC Anti-Corruption Subcommittee was held and their recommendations will be considered during this meeting. I urge Member States to continue implementing provisions of the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, and to report progress achieved on an annual basis, with specific reference to the status of domestication.
With regards to the implementation of the UNIVISA, there has been little progress, and its piloting status stalled since 2008, hence the urgent need for the Piloting Group to finalise this. As you will agree with me, facilitation of movement of persons and goods, is one of the tenets of regional integration and economic development. Therefore, the relaxation of VISA requirements among Member States and ultimately the implementation of the Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons in the region, is critical for our citizens to enjoy the benefits of regionalism and in so doing contribute to the realisation of the dreams of our founding fathers regarding true and deeper integration.
Before I conclude my remarks, I wish on behalf of the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania to express sincere appreciation and gratitude to you Excellencies and the entire SADC Secretariat for the valuable support you rendered to us for the past twelve months as Chair of the SADC Organ. We sincerely thank you so much. Asanteni sana
One of the important things you need to know before I finally now conclude my remarks is that Tanzania is home to some of Africa's most famous national parks and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the Serengeti. For those who want to take a break and spend some time soaking up the sun, the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar beckon. Off Pemba and Mafia islands is a whole other kind of natural wonder, one most appreciated by the scuba divers and snorkelers who come here from around the world to experience the coral gardens, colorful fish, and crystal clear waters.If time allows, I invite you to visit them. For the sea lovers the spice islands of Zanzibar are only 70 minutes by boat.
In conclusion allow me to thank you for your kind attention. I wish you fruitful deliberations.
Merci beau coup