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Report – 40th Plenary Assembly Session of SADC Parliamentary Forum 03rd – 15th November, 2016 Harare, Zimbabwe

CONTENT

 

  1. Introduction                                                                                                                                                   3
  1. The 40th Plenary Assembly Session                                                                                                      3
  1. Pertinent issues of Regional Importance discussed                                                                       3
  1. Parliamentary Studies Institute                                                                                                             3
  1. Transformation of SADC PF into as Regional Parliament                                                           4
  1. Election of President and Vice-President of SADC PF for 2016-2018                                      4
  1. Hosting of the 41st Plenary Assembly                                                                                                   4
  1. Conclusion                                                                                                                                                      4

 

 

  1. Introduction

A delegation from the National Assembly of Seychelles, headed by the Honorable Speaker, Patrick Pillay actively participated at the 40th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF). This gathering of Members of Parliament across the SADC region took place in Harare, Zimbabwe from the 3rd to the 15th November, 2016. It was during the election of Officer Bearers for the period of 2016-2018 that Hon. Terence Mondon, the current Vice Chairperson of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee, was elected as Treasurer of SADC PF.

 

  1. The 40th Plenary Assembly Session

The Conference, which was officially, opened by the Vice President of Zimbabwe, his Excellency, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa was themed “Statelessness in the SADC Region”. Held twice a year, the Plenary Assembly advises SADC Summit on matters of regional policy issues and promotes the objectives and programmes of SADC.

During the Plenary Assembly, Member countries approved the following issues:

  • Report of the Joint Session of the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment
  • Report of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development
  • Report of the Executive Committee (Audit and Treasurer’s report)
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights
  • Motion on the negative impact of political violence on women’s participation in politics
  • Motion on the Prevalence of the dual epidemic of Tuberculosis and diabetes around the World
  • Motion in tackling hunger and poverty in Southern Africa
  • Motion on the need for SADC Member States to expedite the signing and implementation of the tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement aimed at creating an enlarged market extending from Cape to Cairo.

 

  1. Pertinent issues of Regional Importance discussed

The delegates discussed two pertinent issues which included the creation of the Parliamentary Studies Institute which will be located at the University of Zimbabwe and the transformation of SADC PF into a Parliamentary Forum.

 

3.1. Parliamentary Studies Institute

The aim of the Parliamentary Studies Institute is to provide parliamentary training to parliamentarians in the SAD region. The University of Zimbabwe has agreed to host the Studies Institute and Member countries will make contributions to its operation. Member countries further agreed to encourage donor funding in the Parliamentary Studies Institute.

 

3.2. Transformation of SADC PF into as Regional Parliament

It was reported that the proposal to transform SADC PF into a Regional Parliament was deliberated at the 36th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government. But the proposal was rejected and the way forward was to request all Speakers of Parliaments to lobby their country Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the Council of Ministers to support the proposal.

 

  1. Election of President and Vice President of SADC PF for 2016-2018

Preceding the Closing Ceremony was the election of President and Vice-President amongst Member countries for the next two years. Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo were eligible for the post of President however, only Angola contested for the position and won unanimously. Hon. Fernando de Pledade Dias dos Santos is the new President of SADC PF for 2016-2018. The position of Vice President went to Hon. Monica Mutsvanga, a Woman MP from Zimbabwe. The Treasurer was elected amongst the new Members of the Executive Committee and Seychelles as eligible to contest against Lesotho and South Africa. Hon. Terence Mondon, who is also a Member of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programme was elected as the new Treasurer of SADC PF.

Hon. Terence Mondon will be the Chair of the Sub-Committee on Finance, which falls within the scope of the Executive Committee.

 

  1. Hosting of the 41st Plenary Assembly

The hosting of Plenary Assembly is undertaken on a rotational basis and Seychelles is the next country to host in June, 2017. Discussions between the SADC PF Secretariat and the National Assembly of Seychelles in the coming weeks will focus on its logistical organization.

 

  1. Conclusion

The 40th Plenary Assembly was a success and the delegation of Seychelles which included the Speaker Hon. Patrick Pillay and Hon. Regina Esparon, the Member of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality Women Advancement and Youth actively participated in all debates. The election of Hon. Terence Mondon as the new Treasurer of SADC PF is an honor for Seychelles and we wish him every success in the management of finances of this Organisation.