SADC - PF adopts resolution on good governance, human rights

  • National Assembly (Angolan parliament) Speaker, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos.
Luanda - The SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC- FP) adopted this Sunday a resolution on democratization, governance and human rights in the southern region of the African continent.

The resolution was adopted at the 49th Plenary Assembly of the Parliamentary Forum of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), held in a virtual session from Gaborone, capital of the Republic of Botswana. 

 

Angola participated in the event with a delegation led by the National Assembly Speaker, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos. 

 

The resolution calls for the national parliaments of the organization's member states to become temples of democracy and the promotion and respect for human rights.

 

The participants at the Plenary Assembly rejected the intention to create a model law on constitutionalism for the region.

 

The  Angolan MP, Ruth Mendes, revealed that the majority of parliamentarians defend that a model law should not be created, taking into account the specificity of the Constitution and the sovereignty of each of the SADC member countries.

 

"If we adopted the model law, we would be creating other problems, especially with regard to the transformation of the SADC –PF into a regional parliament," she said. 

 

Vaccines for the population 

The SADC – PF also expressed the need to acquire vaccines for the region, arguing that only with vaccinated people can Covid-19 be eradicated. 

 

Issues related to membership fees for the Forum, domestic violence, child marriages and early pregnancy in the region were also addressed. 

 

Ruth Mendes indicated that, although there is a model law on child marriage, there is a need to find out if it is actually being complied with and how countries are implementing it. 

 

She said it is necessary to create conditions to stop child marriages and early pregnancy, as it compromises the future of many young girls. 

 

The Assembly also adopted a motion on gender equality, promotion of women and youth development, as well as approved the resolution of the Standing Committee on Human Development and Special Programmes. 

 

The Forum established mechanisms to ensure that the region's parliaments continue to play a leading role in the formulation of regional policies in the post-Covid-19 period.

 

The event was held under the motto “Enhancing the African Free Trade Area (AFTA) for Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery in Southern Africa”. 

 

In view of the role of the SADC-PF and national parliaments in leveraging the AFTA for post-Covid economic recovery in southern Africa, the Plenary Assembly concluded that it was essential that the free trade area does not replace the existing regional economic communities (RECs). 

 

It should be noted that the AFTA Agreement explicitly recognizes the RECs as constitutive elements of the African free trade mechanism. 

 

Since most intra-African trade takes place within the RECs, regional blocs such as SADC are important in the implementation and enforcement of the AFTA, emphasized the SADC-PF.

 

The Plenary Assembly, which is made up of the member countries’ respective parliament speakers and five parliamentarians from each member parliament, is the highest policy-making body of the SADC-PF. 

 

SADC  is a Regional Economic Community comprising 16 Member States, namely  Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Seychelles, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

The resolution was adopted at the 49th Plenary Assembly of the Parliamentary Forum of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), held in a virtual session from Gaborone, capital of the Republic of Botswana. 

 

Angola participated in the event with a delegation led by the National Assembly Speaker, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos. 

 

The resolution calls for the national parliaments of the organization's member states to become temples of democracy and the promotion and respect for human rights.

 

The participants at the Plenary Assembly rejected the intention to create a model law on constitutionalism for the region.

 

The  Angolan MP, Ruth Mendes, revealed that the majority of parliamentarians defend that a model law should not be created, taking into account the specificity of the Constitution and the sovereignty of each of the SADC member countries.

 

"If we adopted the model law, we would be creating other problems, especially with regard to the transformation of the SADC –PF into a regional parliament," she said. 

 

Vaccines for the population 

The SADC – PF also expressed the need to acquire vaccines for the region, arguing that only with vaccinated people can Covid-19 be eradicated. 

 

Issues related to membership fees for the Forum, domestic violence, child marriages and early pregnancy in the region were also addressed. 

 

Ruth Mendes indicated that, although there is a model law on child marriage, there is a need to find out if it is actually being complied with and how countries are implementing it. 

 

She said it is necessary to create conditions to stop child marriages and early pregnancy, as it compromises the future of many young girls. 

 

The Assembly also adopted a motion on gender equality, promotion of women and youth development, as well as approved the resolution of the Standing Committee on Human Development and Special Programmes. 

 

The Forum established mechanisms to ensure that the region's parliaments continue to play a leading role in the formulation of regional policies in the post-Covid-19 period.

 

The event was held under the motto “Enhancing the African Free Trade Area (AFTA) for Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery in Southern Africa”. 

 

In view of the role of the SADC-PF and national parliaments in leveraging the AFTA for post-Covid economic recovery in southern Africa, the Plenary Assembly concluded that it was essential that the free trade area does not replace the existing regional economic communities (RECs). 

 

It should be noted that the AFTA Agreement explicitly recognizes the RECs as constitutive elements of the African free trade mechanism. 

 

Since most intra-African trade takes place within the RECs, regional blocs such as SADC are important in the implementation and enforcement of the AFTA, emphasized the SADC-PF.

 

The Plenary Assembly, which is made up of the member countries’ respective parliament speakers and five parliamentarians from each member parliament, is the highest policy-making body of the SADC-PF. 

 

SADC  is a Regional Economic Community comprising 16 Member States, namely  Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Seychelles, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.