The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan held the first meeting of the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) as the newly elected Chairperson. Hon. Ramkalawan chaired the very first meeting of the oversight Committee in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday 6th May 2019 and presented his opening remarks.
In his opening remarks, Hon. Ramkalawan expressed the importance of promoting the domestication of model laws and the high level of responsibility of the work of the Committee going forward. The Committee is composed of the Chairpersons of the Standing Committees of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Hon. Egbert Aglae as Chairperson of the Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Standing Committee is also a Member of the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee is mandated to oversee the model laws, as well as pertinent agenda operations across the other SADC PF Standing Committees.
Hon. Ramkalawan also highlighted that the establishment of the Committee heralds a new era of change for the SADC PF where the monitoring of the incorporation phases with National Parliaments will also take place when introducing Model Laws. ‘In this role, we will be acting as Identifier (in identifying gaps and loopholes that prevent domestication, as Facilitator, in facilitating the domestication process of national Parliaments, and also as Adviser to the Forum and to national Parliaments as we recommend ways to domesticate and incorporate relevant SRHR, Governance, and Gender provisions. ‘
The Oversight Committee aims to also position the SADC Region as the pinnacle of the world in terms of both democracy and socio-economic development, as well as host dedicated sessions where model laws on Elections will be scrutinized in detail.
Editor’s Notes: The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1997 in accordance with Article 9 (2) of the SADC Treaty as an autonomous institution of SADC It is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Fourteen (14) parliaments and these member parliaments are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Forum seeks to bring regional experiences to bear at the national level, to promote best practices in the role of parliaments in regional cooperation and integration as outlined in the SADC Treaty and the Forum Constitution. Its main aim is to provide a platform for parliaments and parliamentarians to promote and improve regional integration in the SADC region, through parliamentary involvement.