SADC PF ends forum with eight motions approved



The 41st plenary assembly session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) ended last Friday with eight motions approved by the twelve national parliaments from SADC member states, notably  Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lesotho and Tanzania were absent with apologies.

The SADC PF parliamentary forum was officially opened last Monday by Seychelles’ President Danny Faure. It was held under the theme ‘Harnessing Demographic Dividend in SADC Through Investment in Youths’.

President Faure highlighted Seychelles’ commitment to the vision, objectives and programmes of SADC towards regional integration and commended the forum for its contribution towards the advancement towards the region’s democracy, governance, peace and development.

With regards to the forum’s theme, the president described the youths as an extraordinary asset to our region and the theme is another opportunity for member states to continue valorising their youths with more vigour and dynamism which will therefore means more inclusive participation and development.

As for the 8 motions adopted, they were motions calling for gender mainstreaming as a strategy for accelerating gender equality tabled by Swaziland; adoption of the SADC PF election observation mission to the 2017 Lesotho national assembly elections tabled by Botswana; harnessing demographic dividend in SADC region through investment in youth by Malawi; gender-based violence in the Southern African Development Community tabled by South Africa; the African Union decision on the institutional reform of the African Union (Assembly/AU/Dec.635 (XXVIII)) tabled by South Africa; the status quo of national women’s caucuses in SADC PFs tabled by Malawi; the severe increase of non-communicable diseases as a result of overweight, obesity and the excessive consumption of sugary foods and beverages as potential risk to the SADC region’s full harnessing of its demographic dividend tabled by South Africa and condemning all forms of harassment, bullying and abuse of children in schools and their environment in the SADC region tabled by Seychelles. It is to be noted that resolution 60/2 on the status of women, children and the girl child by the United Nations commission on the status of women which seeks to end HIV infection among women and girls, which was tabled during the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus in Seychelles, was also approved during the SADC PF plenary session.

All the approved resolutions will be transmitted to the SADC Secretariat, SADC national parliaments and relevant ministries of member states for implementation.

“The theme ‘Harnessing demographic Dividend in SADC Through Investment in Youths’, was an important theme given that the SADC region has a growing youthful population from which we can derive demographic dividend. During the plenary Assembly session we benefitted from an expert presentation on how member states can benefit from this potential demographic dividend,” said Fernando Da Piedade Dias dos Santos, President of SADC PF and speaker of the 41st plenary Assembly session. He expressed his gratitude and that of the SADC PF to the National Assembly of Seychelles under the leadership of Speaker Patrick Pillay for hosting the session, as well as President Danny Faure for gracing the official opening with his presence.

He also highlighted President Faure’s presence during the SADC PF Women Members of Parliament conference also held in Seychelles in parallel with the plenary session.

Speaker Patrick Pillay said there are things that need to be put in order in the SADC PF like its finance sector.

“Speaker Dias dos Santos who chaired the session spent lots of time on the secretary general’s report. There are many things that need to be organised in the secretariat, especially the management of its finance. All member states are talking about transparency, accountability and good governance, which we are also talking about here. We cannot talk on such topics if they are not being applied in the SADC PF itself. We had to point out what is wrong. But this has encouraged all of us and as it is the first time Seychelles hosts the SADC PF plenary session, it has enlightened us to discover we are all on the same wave length,” he said.

And regarding the theme of the session, Mr Pillay said we all agreed it concerns all of the member states and not only Seychelles.






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