Preparatory meetings begin for SADC ministerial meeting in Maputo

Maputo (AIM) – The Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation on Monday opened its annual meeting in the Mozambican capital city Maputo. The event is being held under the theme “Contributing to Peace, Stability, and Security in SADC”.

Source: Preparatory meetings begin for SADC ministerial meeting in Maputo – The Zimbabwean 02.08.2016

Officials will work through the week and, on Friday, Foreign Ministers will arrive to review the socio-political situation in the region since the organ’s last summit in South Africa in July 2015.

According to the director of regional integration at Mozambique’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MINEC), Joao Machatine, the meetings will also set aside time for discussions on gender based violence. This will lead up to a full ministerial meeting on Thursday focussed on violence against women.

SADC as an institution has played an important role in raising the issue of discrimination against women and pushing for real action to redress the imbalance.

In particular, the SADC Heads of State and Government summit in 2008 saw the signing of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. Amongst the almost two dozen targets is the aim that women hold at least half of decision making positions in the public and private sector.

The objectives under the Protocol also include the application of measures to empower women, to eliminate discrimination and to achieve gender equality and equity through the development and implementation of gender responsive legislation, policies, programmes and projects.

The Protocol also seeks to harmonise the various international, continental and regional gender equality instruments that SADC Member States have subscribed to such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Beijing Declaration and its Platform of Action, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (better known as the Maputo Protocol), and the Millennium Development goals, amongst others.

Preceding the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, SADC Council of Ministers adopted the SADC Gender Policy (2007). SADC Heads of State and Government also signed the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development in September 1997, followed by its Addendum on the Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women and Children in September 1998.

The preparatory meetings of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation will be held, as usual, behind closed doors.

COMMENTS

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    spiralx 6 years ago

    So: lots of hot air expended on a comfortably ‘cool’ topic, then. And exactly what will change, concretely and practically, on the ground, in SADC countries? Say. by next year’s summit?

    And why, since illegal and unethical discrimination is under discussion, don’t they take a stand on, say, regimes endorsing racism (Zimbabwe’s ZANU a major contributor here); or the ignorant persecution of sexual minorities (even SA needs to up its game here)?