SADC

PREAMBLE

We, the Heads of State and/or Government or our duly authorised Representatives of:

The Republic of Angola
The Republic of Botswana
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Kingdom of Lesotho
The Republic of Madagascar
The Republic of Malawi
The Republic of Mauritius
The Republic of Moçambique
The Republic of Namibia
The Republic of South Africa
The Kingdom of Swaziland
The United Republic of Tanzania
The Republic of Zambia
The Republic of Zimbabwe

In attendance: the President of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros, the Prime Minister of Norway, the Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, the Representative of the President of the Federal Republic of Brazil, the President of the African Development Bank, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and the European Commissioner for Development Aid.

RECALLING that the objectives of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are, among others, to:

(i) Promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development that will ensure poverty alleviation with the ultimate objective of its eradication;
(ii) Enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of SADC and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration;
(iii) Mainstream gender in the process of community and nation building;

NOTING 
that despite enormous efforts that SADC Member States have undertaken to achieve sustainable economic and social development, on average over 40 percent of the SADC population continues to live in abject poverty;

RECOGNISING
 that in addition to diseases, underdevelopment, deficient economic structures, gender inequalities, inadequate capital and skills and marginalisation from the world economy, there are new developments that are further frustrating efforts to combat poverty in particular surging food and energy prices, diverting food into energy production as well as climatic upheavals;

REAFFIRMING
 our commitment to the achievement of key international development goals aimed at sustainable social and economic development including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

FURTHER
 reaffirming our commitment to the roadmap for the creation of a common market;

REAFFIRMING
 our commitment to the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development of 1997, the SADC Maseru Declaration of 2003 on HIV and AIDS, the 2004 Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in the SADC Region;

HEREBY

REITERATE
our commitment to combating and eradicating poverty in all its manifestations and dimensions as a matter of utmost urgency, through regional cooperation and integration, sound political and economic governance, the pursuit of appropriate trade and growth policies and gainful participation in the world economy and in that regard recommit to mobilise the necessary resources;

ENCOURAGE
all SADC Member States to fully   implement their strategies aimed at poverty eradication in pursuance of our commitment to the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO) as the SADC long-term strategy for deepening regional integration to contribute to the acceleration of economic growth, poverty eradication and the achievement of a sustainable pattern of economic growth as well as meaningful participation in the world economy;

THEREFORE:

1.       DECLARE the following as priority areas requiring our urgent attention at the regional level in view of the new challenges:

(i) Achieving food security in a situation of growing global food shortages;
(ii) Addressing the adverse impact of climate change in the fight against poverty;
(iii) Increasing capacity in power generation and transmission as well as secure greater use of renewable and alternative sources of energy;
(iv) Achieving higher economic growth through accelerated regional integration, pro-poor trade liberalisation and economic development;
(v) Developing and sustaining human capabilities through increased access of the population to quality and appropriate education, training, welfare and social development, nutrition, health, and sporting services as well as information in all Member States; and
(vi)  Accelerating development, rehabilitation and maintenance of Infrastructure for Regional Integration.

2.       To address these priorities, we RESOLVE TO:


(i) achieve food security by setting up a Task Force of Ministers of Trade, Agriculture and Finance to encourage regional collaboration and by sustainably improving the production capacity and productivity, facilitating cross border and internal food flows based on improved infrastructure and distribution networks;  
(ii) mandate the Task Force to immediately focus on the current food crisis;
(iii) promote financial sector development including micro finance and develop small and medium enterprises with particular emphasis on gender;
(iv) promote relevant education and skills development at all levels in order to ensure higher general efficiency, productivity and boosting the required innovative processes by, amongst others, bridging the digital divide;
(v) ensure wide access to health services including primary health care and step up efforts to combat HIV and AIDS and other diseases;
(vi)  achieve resilience against the impact of climate change by preparing and implementing national and regional adaptation and mitigation plans;
(vii) accelerate implementation of regional integration including intra-regional trade liberalisation, cross border investment and value addition by improving the business and investment climate;
(viii) enhance, expand and upgrade infrastructure with emphasis on labour intensive methods and Public Private Partnerships; and
(ix) strengthen our partnerships with the private sector and civil society at large to mobilise financial and technical resources to combat poverty at its roots.

3.       We further RESOLVE TO:

(i) work towards the establishment of a Regional Poverty Observatory to monitor progress made in the implementation of actions in the main priority areas of poverty eradication; and
(ii)  acquire and develop adequate capacity both at the SADC Secretariat and at Member States level to ensure effective implementation of poverty eradication programmes.

4.       We also RESOLVE TO:

(i) continue negotiations for resources under “Aid for Trade”;
(ii) set up the required framework for the rapid operationalisation of the SADC Development Fund to implement regional projects linked mainly to promote trade and infrastructure development;
(iii)  encourage partnerships with civil society organisations and community leaders in poverty reduction programmes; and
(iv)  urge the international cooperating partners to assist and provide predictable, additional and dedicated resources and encourage Foreign Direct Investments in the SADC Region in order to achieve key international development goals including the MDGs by substantially increasing their financial and technical assistance, reducing unnecessary procedural impediments and supporting reform programmes at country and regional level as well as through effective implementation of the existing initiatives and commitments.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, WE, the Heads of State and/or Government,  and the duly authorized Representatives have signed this Declaration.

Done at Pailles, Republic of Mauritius, this 20th day of April 2008, in three (3) original texts in the English, French and Portuguese languages, all texts being equally authentic.
 End of Quote".



Southern African Civil Society Declaration on Poverty and Development


SADC International Consultative Conference on Poverty and Development
April 2008


Our Common Challenge

We, the organizations of southern African civil society welcome, appreciate and support theinitiative by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to address poverty and promote development in the region. We congratulate SADC on the initiative to convene the SADC International Consultative Conference on Poverty and Development, and welcome the opportunity to provide our contribution.

As representatives of NGOs, labour organisations, faith-based organisations, academic and research institutions, business and other civil society organizations working on poverty and development we are committed to poverty eradication in southern Africa and believe:
  • That poverty is a huge challenge in the region, and that its effects are broad ranging, affecting all aspects of the socio-economic and political life of the people of the region.
  • That the challenges of poverty and development are significant and ongoing in the southern African region, and that efforts to eradicate poverty need to be urgently and significantly scaled up by all key stakeholders.
  • That the responses of governments and international agencies are varied, and there is dire need for a more coordinated approach in the alignment of interventions and monitoring of results has become more apparent, more so in the face of the global responses such as the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • That despite progress made at certain levels, several countries still experience low and decreasing levels of per capita Gross National Product (GNP); low growth rates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); relatively high budget deficits and interest rates; relatively low savings and investment rates; and burdensome external debt obligations, all of which have contributed to high levels of poverty.
  • That efforts to reduce the level of inequalities, which are unacceptably high in the region, should form a critical linchpin of strategies to eradicate poverty.
  • That the current neo-liberal growth model, devoid of deliberate policy thrust aimed at sustainable human development, in southern Africa will not assist countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
  • That special attention is paid for the formulation and implementation of policies towards the growing feminisation of poverty in the region and thereby fostering gender equality in all spheres of life.
We also call on SADC and the member countries to make a concerted effort to eradicate poverty in the region and continuously assessing results in this regard. In this context, SADC plays an important role in coordinating governmental responses on poverty situations in the region. Thus, the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) re-affirms the commitment of SADC Member States to good political, economic and corporate governance entrenched in a culture of democracy, full participation by civil society, transparency and respect for the rule of law. Therefore, we support the RISDP and urge SADC member states to accelerate its successful implementation for poverty eradication. We also support the noble goals and objectives of the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (known as SIPO) with its emphasis on good political, economic and corporate governance, which are a prerequisite for sustainable socio-economic development. This is because we believe that without democracy and good political governance, socio-economic development and eradication of poverty may not be possible.

However, as civil society we feel that additional instruments and structures are necessary to monitor and coordinate poverty eradication efforts in the region. To this end, we support the intention to establish a Poverty and Development Observatory, a framework that allows active and meaningful civil society involvement.

As civil society, we also see ourselves as important partners in the regional struggle to eradicate poverty, and commit ourselves to engage constructively and vigorously with regional and national governments to ensure the development of appropriate strategies aimed at eradicating poverty in the region.

This declaration is a contribution to the SADC International Consultative Conference on Poverty and Development in Mauritius, 2008.

Democracy, good political governance and Poverty Eradication

Noting:

  • Democracy and good political governance are a necessary condition and a prerequisite for sustainable human development;
  • Peace and security are crucial for both democracy and sustainable human development;
  • Peace and security, democracy and good political governance are therefore relevant for all efforts aimed at poverty eradication;
  • The primary responsibility for sustainable human development and poverty eradication rests with an effective, strong and capable state and not free markets on their own;
  • A developmental democratic state is required to promote development, fight corruption, ensure transparency in public policy and management of national affairs and weed out human rights abuses and authoritarian rule;
  • Popular participation in governance is crucial for effective public policy aimed at poverty eradication requiring deliberate efforts towards democratic local governance, among others;
  • That a vibrant civil society is an important partner in the effort to eradicate poverty situations in partnership with governments and development partners.
  • That regional governments need to develop both national and regional strategies for achieving equitable and sustainable development to benefit their populations.
  • That people-centred development will only take place when economic goals are subordinated to social and political objectives. In this respect, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) initiative becomes an important and potential strategy of promoting good governance in member-states;
  • That feminisation of poverty is accentuating gender inequality and imbalances and in the process reversing the goals of the 1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development;
  • That the RISDP does not spell out precisely how SADC plans to evolve a regional strategy to eradicate poverty and how such a strategy dovetails with national responses in the form of Poverty Reduction Strategy Plans etc;
  • That SIPO lacks a specific focus on human security as part of the good governance frameworks, given that its main focus has tended to give pride of place to state security;
    • Poverty is as much a socio-economic issue as it is a political issue, needs a holistic and comprehensive response encapsulating socio-economic and political responses.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • SADC governments must accelerate the implementation of the RISDP and develop a regional strategy for poverty eradication that complements national PRSPs;
  • SADC governments must scale up the implementation of SIPO and ensure a balanced focus on both state security and human security is ensured;
  • SADC governments must promote gender equality in all spheres of life and develop deliberate policies to reverse the trend of feminisation of poverty;
  • SADC member states must commit to establishing capable, developmental and democratic states that are truly agents of development rather than leaving the developmental tasks to the profit-maximising markets;
  • Governments provide spaces for civil society in the efforts towards poverty eradication and achievement of the MDGs;
  • With a view to enhance popular participation in governance and development, SADC governments must recognise and strengthen civil society, hence the adopted framework that defines good democratic practice including the voices of civil society;
  • SADC governments must ensure the institutionalisation of democratic local governance;
  • Now that SIPO has been in operation for five years, there is need for the SADC Secretariat to institute a comprehensive review of this regional governance agenda with adequate involvement of civil society stakeholders;
  • Having been in operation for five years, SADC countries that have acceded to the APRM should embark upon a review identifying challenges specific to poverty eradication and lessons learnt from best practices in those countries where the self-assessments have already been completed namely Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Algeria and Benin;
  • SADC must undergo a deliberate transformation towards a rules-based organisation with the secretariat sufficiently empowered with authority to ensure enforcement of protocols and agreements and domestication of declarations to ensure that governments duly comply and account for non-observance; and
  • SADC governments must strive for the establishment of a SADC Parliament through appropriate transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
Agriculture & Food Security

Noting:

  • That achieving both food security (the availability of food) and food sovereignty (production of food) is an important challenge for the region;
  • That food security is both a national and household issue and concern;
  • That the Right to Food is a basic fundamental right of people of the region;
  • That all the member states of SADC committed to allocation of 10% of their budget to food security;
  • That the government has the responsibility to produce and provide food to its people, and the nation has the right to decide what it eats, produce and market;
  • That regional governments need to enhance and diversify food production with the view to reduce their dependence on food imports;
  • That protecting marine and fishery resources is an important food security issue in the region;
  • That environment and climate change poses significant risk to food production and livelihoods of the poor in this region. This will pose a major setback on efforts to achieve MDG one;
    • That severe increases in food prices pose a significant risk to vulnerable groups and communities.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • SADC member states urgently adhere to the commitment of 10% budgetary allocation to agriculture;
  • Active measures be taken to support SADC countries to diversify food production, especially in the area of small grains that are drought resistant;
  • An ongoing and constructive relationship is improved between relevant SADC Departments and civil society in the region;
  • Urgent protection is provided to the farm workers of the region;
  • Measures are taken to significantly improve infrastructure such as roads, dams, irrigation facilities and research institutions to assist in agricultural production, distribution and marketing;
  • Agricultural research institutions, training skills, innovation, and mechanisation and extension services aimed at supporting small-holder farmers be more actively supported;
  • SADC improve measures aimed at information dissemination to farmers in the region;
  • SADC improve measures to analyse and response to potential threat from environmental degradation and climate change;
  • Governments of the region to provide timely inputs and subsidies to farmers;
  • SADC to decentralize key services with the view to enhance food production;
  • SADC member countries should commit themselves to subsidise each other’s food security needs, especially in light of unpredictable weather patterns;
  • That SADC investigate mechanisms to enhance the benefits to women agricultural producers through reform of subsidies and trade regulation;
  • That specific and urgent measures are needed to mitigate the effects of rapidly rising food prices, including and increase social security nets for vulnerable households in the region, as well as subsidising basic foods as a short term measure;
  • That the land reform technical facility needs to be implemented and harmonised with agriculture and water management policies.
Land Reform

Noting:

  • That land reform plays an important role in addressing the poverty of rural people in the region through increasing access to productive assets, and improving agricultural productivity;
  • That demand for agricultural land in the region is very high;
  • That it is important for land reforms to be responsive to economic, social, legal and political environment of the country and the international environment;
  • That land reform has been implemented in an unsustainable and disruptive manner in some countries of the region;
    • That SADC has planned for the establishment of a regional land reform technical facility to provide research and support to land reform programmes in the region.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • SADC expedite the establishment of the regional land reform technical facility;
  • Governments need to support their people’s access to land and ability to produce;
  • Gradual and well-planned land reform is implemented by governments of the region;
  • Despite the variety of reasons for land reform, food security and sustainable agricultural systems should not be compromised;
  • Land is allocated to people who have the capacity to work it and become productive farmers;
  • Land reform should be supported financially and farmers should be assured of markets;
  • Women’s rights to land be promoted and protected, and that SADC member states need to actively support women’s access to land;
  • The utilization of land be actively monitored, and measures put in place to enhance production while protecting the region’s natural resource base.
Employment and Labour

Noting:

  • That unemployment is high in the region, and is a key contributing factor to poverty;
  • That economic growth strategy in the region does not sufficiently promote sustainable employment;
  • That women’s role in the economy of the region is still not recognised, and that they remain under-represented in most sectors of the economy, including science and technology sectors;
    • That fundamental principles and rights of people at work are often violated in the region.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • SADC should ensure the full and meaningful application of the Charter of Fundamental Social Rights in SADC;
  • Countries of the region pursue labour intensive approaches in their macroeconomic development strategies
  • Countries promote models of community ownership for income projects
  • The region place employment objectives at the centre of macroeconomic frameworks;
  • The region adopts the Decent Work campaign;
  • Minimum labour standards and terms of employment are applicable across the SADC region;
  • Countries recognise and protect the right to formation of Unions;
  • Countries strengthen labour inspectorates;
  • Corporate social responsibility practices and ethical trade policies are established across the region;
  • Codes of conduct are ratified and implemented by countries of the region;
  • The effective development and utilisation of skills is pursued to enhance productivity;
  • Active measures are taken to improve the representation of women in science and technology;
  • Urgent measures are taken to eradicate child labour in the region.
Migration

Noting:

  • That the poor of the region migrate to address their poverty;
  • That the free movement of people in the SADC region remains an aspiration, rather than a reality;
    • Those migrants continue to face particular hardship and vulnerability, including xenophobia.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • Implementation of the protocol on the facilitation of free movement of people within the SADC is fast-tracked;
  • Active measures are taken to address rising levels of xenophobia in the region;
  • Governments deal with push factors causing brain drain, especially of health workers;
  • Data capture systems be converged to facilitate the portability of social benefits.
Education, Health, Water, Sanitation and Social Services

Noting:

  • That the role of education in addressing poverty is critical, and that urgent measures are required to improve access and maintain the standard of education in the region;
  • That skills are needed for both individuals and economies as a whole to accumulate resources and address poverty constraints;
    • That the health status of the region's population is characterised by large discrepancies among member states on basic indicators, but in the main the region has relatively poor health indicators.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • The domestication of the SADC Protocol on Education and Training, Protocol on Health and the Code on Social Security in countries at all levels is undertaken in the region;
  • Governments need to demonstrate renewed urgency to establish universal access to education in the region;
  • Governments undertake measures to improve access to good quality health services and facilities for rural and poor communities;
  • Governments continue to provide free education and health, especially for vulnerable groups in society;
  • Government release information on social developmental issues;
  • Governments improve conditions of service to avoid brain drain, especially of health professionals, artisans and engineers;
  • There should be regular and timely consultation between government, donors and civil society on fiscal budgets;
  • Governments should have a common vision and framework on social assistance to the poor;
  • Governments should commit themselves to invest significantly in education, health and social services;
  • As far as possible, governments must be seen at least to be making efforts towards agreed upon minimum allocations to the sectors in their national budgets.
Trade, Finance, Investment & Development
Informal Trade

Noting:

  • That there is a lack of recognition of informal trade as a form of business;
  • That informal cross border traders are not only perceived as criminals, but also are harassed at the border posts;
  • That policies as well as the regulatory environment are not facilitating informal trade in the region;
  • That high tariff measures are unnecessarily imposed on informal trade;
    • That accessing credit at the micro level is largely limited thereby constraining the potential growth and development of informal trade in the region.
    • Hereby resolved that:
  • Cross border trade be formally recognised as an important aspect of trade in the region;
  • A protective environment for informal trade be established, including measures to facilitate movement of people across borders;
  • Unreasonable tariffs and regulatory barriers be removed or substantially restricted on informal trade;
  • Conducive economic environment and policies be promoted in order to facilitate access to credit, especially for women entrepreneurs.
Intra-Regional Trade

Noting:

  • That trade intra-regional is favouring few countries over others in the region;
  • That regional governments are secretive or protective on trade terrain;
    • That there is a lack of capacity of member states to subsidize sectors, especially those that are oriented towards the external market.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • More equitable trade structure and liberalization be implemented in the region;
  • Infant-industry protection is promoted in the region;
  • The capacity of member countries to produce and export is enhanced through value-addition to products and addressing supply side constraints
  • Confidence in leaders to facilitate private sector trade development is required;
  • A regional bank for members to access financial resources be investigated and established.
Economic Partnership Agreements

Noting:

  • That 11 countries signed the interim EPAs;
  • That there is fragmented negotiating strategy and engagement on EPAs;
  • That the interim arrangements threaten to seriously undermine regional development and integration of SACU, SADC and COMESA;
  • That some countries which initialled concerns about the implications to regional development and regional integration;
    • That the EPAs processes ignore existing regional Trade Protocols and strategic indicative plans and objectives.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • Governments should disclose contents of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreements (IEPAs) in addition to deepening and/or broadening constituencies or stakeholders’ consultations before concluding the comprehensive EPAs;
  • Governments should forge a unitary approach or solidarity towards the comprehensive EPAs talks as well as any future trade talks;
  • Governments should not open up to other EPA initiative such as services and intellectual property (IP);
  • Civil society should intensify networking, synergy building and advocacy among its constituents as well as with other key stakeholders such as negotiators, policy makers and producers;
  • Civil society alternative solutions should seriously be considered by governments;
  • SADC facilitate consultations between negotiators and non-state actors (civil society and the private sector) in the process towards the finalisation of comprehensive EPAs by June 2008;
  • SADC Secretariat and national governments realign EPAs outcomes to existing regional trade-related protocols, strategic indicative objectives and the proposal for free trade area (FTA) (2008); customs unions (2010); common market (2015); monetary union (2016); and regional currency for the monetary union (2018);
  • EU should honour its commitments to bankroll efforts to redress existing supply-side constraints. To this effect, EU should remove all the bureaucracy that might hinder countries from accessing the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) as was the case with previous EDF resources.
Foreign Direct Investment

Noting:

  • That FDI is currently favouring certain countries in the region;
  • That governments in the region have not put in place minimum standards to protect social and labour rights for investment in the region;
    • That some governments in the region have not put in place regulations to guide the conduct and operations of FDIs.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • Government should encourage FDI in sectors that are labour intensive and employment generating whilst respecting labour standards;
  • Corporate social responsibility should be standardized across the region;
  • Governments should set conditions that promote local procurement, labour utilisation, transfer of skills and national equity.
Finance

Noting:

  • That accessible and inexpensive micro-finance is a key poverty reduction mechanism for poor people, particularly women;
  • That the poor, especially in rural areas, do not have ready access to micro-finance;
    • That mainstream commercial financial institutions do not provide credit to the poor.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • SADC create and adopt a microfinance policy to guide the growth of micro-finance in the region;
  • SADC work on the development of enabling regulatory framework for the facilitation of microfinance;
  • That an active programme be implemented to building the capacity of MFIs;
  • That governments should support MFIs through recapitalization funds.
Infrastructure Development

Noting:

  • That telecommunication sector development is an important part of the region’s development;
  • That corporate social responsibility is not poverty-reduction driven;
  • That energy remains a problem for the region;
    • That large-scale infrastructure projects have not always demonstrated a significant benefit for the poor.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • Governments should implement pro-poor infrastructural projects and strategies that benefit the poor and/or marginalised communities;
  • CSOs should monitor the implementation of infrastructure projects to ensure transparency and benefits to the poor and/or marginalised communities;
  • Infrastructure development at the regional level should link the land-locked and coastal countries; and at the national level link developed centres or cities and marginalised communities through initiatives that support physical infrastructural (feeder roads) development;
  • Institutional infrastructure to assist the region’s development agenda should be established and/or promoted;
  • Infrastructure to harness water to curb drought effects is prioritised.
Gender and Development

Noting:

  • That unequal relations of power and access to resources by men and women continue to persist in the region;
  • That the way that property, inheritance and the practice of lebola (in certain countries) is organised should be made more gender equitable;
  • That the current economic model and policy initiatives often result in a growing feminization of poverty in the region;
  • That certain cultural and social practices, as well as aspects of customary law, continue to discriminate against women – especially the girl child in many circumstances;
  • That trafficking of women and children still take place in the region, contributing to the exacerbation of poverty in multiple and diverse ways;
  • That despite legislation violence against women persists, highlighting the difficulties of the implementation of legislation;
    • That insufficient awareness of the SADC Gender Protocol in the region, and the lack of advocacy on the urgent need for its adoption and implementation.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • The SADC Gender and Development Protocol is adopted as a matter of urgency;
  • More strategies developed and efforts channelled into promoting awareness of the SADC Gender Protocol as well as advocacy for its rapid implementation;
  • Mechanisms are developed for strengthening the capacity of implementation structures regarding the Protocol;
  • That compliance and accountability mechanisms need to be strengthened in regard to the Protocol;
  • Gender specialists and activists are invited to participate fully in the debates at the national, regional and international level with the view to combat poverty as well as promoting gender equity;
  • SADC assist in the setting up of a gender network that would help to disseminate gender related information as well as advocate for more gender equitable development models;
  • That a gender emphasis is given to the structure and operation of the proposed Poverty and Development Observatory, including allowance of gender disaggregated data;
  • That a SADC common action plan be developed on violence against women and children.
Youth and Children

Noting:

  • That an African Youth Charter has been adopted in Mali;
  • That SADC does not have a youth development framework, and has not yet made any commitments towards youth development;
  • That the invisibility of children and youth in poverty debates needs to be urgently addressed;
  • That children in SADC face vulnerability to violations of their rights in a context of poverty and HIV and AIDS;
    • SADC lacks a specific framework on children.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • SADC needs to have youth development framework, aligning and integrating with ILO, UN, and African Charter component;
  • The ratification of the youth charter in the region, and that those measures to improve the rights and status of youth are implemented in member states;
  • Measures to ensure youth development are prioritised in SADC;
  • SADC should develop and adopt a specific instrument to promote and protect child rights in the region;
  • That specific measures be undertaken to protect unaccompanied and undocumented child migrants in the region;
  • That SADC develop and adopt specific measures to address child trafficking and child labour in the region;
  • That SADC investigate the adoption of a Children’s Broadcasting Charter to ensure children have access to programming that promotes children’s rights to education and appropriate programming.
Disability

Noting:

  • That the disabled are excluded from the mainstream of political life in the region;
    • That the disabled are often isolated from society through lack of information in appropriate forms.
    • Hereby resolve that:
  • Appropriate policy frameworks at regional and national level be formulated and adopted;
  • Appropriate communications materials for disabled be developed and utilised across the region;
  • Access to social grants in SADC countries is made easier for disabled.
HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria

Noting:

  • That SADC commitment to addressing the HIV/AIDS challenges is encapsulated in the Maseru Declaration, and subsequent actions to implement it;
  • That HIV/AIDS is having a devastating impact on the people of the region, particularly the poor;
  • That the effect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is undermining the development of the region;
  • That women are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic;
  • That the role of men in prevention and care remains limited, despite resources being available and interventions in place to address this;
  • That there are barriers to the region which hinder the production of inexpensive and accessible drugs;
  • That some countries of the region are still not adhering to guidelines regarding the allocation of resources from national budgets to health systems.
  • Resources and capacity to coordinate and implement efforts to address HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria in the region should be urgently and significantly escalated;
  • Efforts to promote a regional platform of prevention, care and treatment – as envisaged by the Maseru Declaration -are intensified by SADC;
  • That the Maseru Declaration should be elevated to the status of Protocol;
  • Resources and capacity to coordinate efforts to address HIV/AIDS in the region should be urgently and significantly escalated;
  • SADC should ensure that member states comply with the target of 15% budgetary allocation to health;
  • Post exposure prophylaxis access is a right across the region, and SADC should ensure that national policies establish and protect this right;
  • Men’s involvement in prevention and care programmes is vigorously promoted;
  • Existing regional policy and instruments need to be actively promoted and monitored;
  • Barriers to the accessibility and production of inexpensive drugs are removed as a matter of urgency.

Hereby resolve that:

Media

Noting:

  • The Windhoek Declaration is the foundation for freedom of expression and media in the region;
  • That the media play an important role in the sensitisation of poverty to the people as well as awareness campaigns aimed at reducing poverty;
    • That in some countries there are challenges in the working conditions of journalists including politically motivated restrictions.
    • We hereby resolve:
  • Governments should strive to establish an enabling environment for independent and plural media in countries of the region;
  • Governments should respect the freedom of press as well as promote an enabling working environment for journalists;
  • Governments should establish media protocols at the SADC level, which guarantee the freedom of the media.
Our Common Commitment

In conclusion, we commend SADC for taking this important initiative and call for a commitment for a dynamic partnership for pro-poor development between SADC member states, NGOs, labour organisations, faith-based groups, academic and research institutions, business and other civil society organisations, ICPs and SADC. As civil society we commit to deepen and widen networking among ourselves, synergy building with research institutions and other development organisations and coordinate our engagements with regional institutions and national governments on issues of poverty eradication and socio-economic development. We further commit ourselves to support our governments to implement pro-poor development strategies, policies, programmes and projects that seek to benefit the poor of the region while reducing inequality.



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