The 40th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of SADC has condemned terrorism and violent attacks in Mozambique, while pledging support for the southern African country.
“The summit expressed SADC solidarity and commitment to support Mozambique in addressing the terrorism and violent attacks, and condemned all acts of terrorism and armed attacks,” said the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in a communique.
The summit, which was held virtually, welcomed the decision by Mozambique to bring to the attention of SADC the violent attacks in that country, and commended Mozambique for its continued efforts towards combating terrorism and violent attacks.
Violence has plagued the the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
The summit also received an assessment report on emerging security threats in the region.
It directed the Secretariat to prepare an action plan for its implementation that will, among others, prioritise measures to combat terrorism, violent attacks and cybercrime, and address the adverse effects of climate change.
Monday’s virtual summit was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Dr. Moeketsi Majoro, Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, as well as Zimbabwean President Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, among others.
At the summit, President Nyusi was elected as Chairperson of SADC, while the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, was elected as incoming Chairperson of SADC.
The summit also elected the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, as Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, while President Ramaphosa was elected as incoming Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The summit approved SADC Vision 2050, which is based on a firm foundation of peace, security and democratic governance. It is premised on three interrelated pillars, namely: industrial development and market integration; infrastructure development in support of regional integration; and social and human capital development.
The three pillars also recognise gender, youth, environment and climate change, and disaster risk management as important cross-cutting components.
The summit also approved the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030 to operationalise Vision 2050.
Leaders at the summit expressed solidarity with Mauritius after the MV Wakashio ship run aground and leaked oil off the coast of the island nation.
“The summit expressed solidarity with the government and people of Mauritius for the environmental disaster in its waters caused by a grounded ship, and called upon SADC Member States and the international community to support Mauritius in containing the disaster,” said the leaders in the communique.
Impact of COVID-19
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the summit also received a report on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on SADC economies, while also noting its effects across sectors. The summit approved the proposed measures to address the sectoral effects.
Leaders noted that a face-to-face summit will take place in Maputo, Mozambique, in March 2021, if the COVID-19 pandemic situation is contained.
Prior to Monday’s summit, the Council of Ministers of the SADC met virtually last week in preparation for the summit