The Public Security Sub-Committee (PSSC) of the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) convene in Botswana

The Meeting of the SADC Public Security Sub-Committee (PSSC) of the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) was hosted at Travel Lodge on 16th-17th May 2019, in Gaborone, Botswana, chaired by the Republic of Zambia as the current Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs.

The PSSC is a SADC annual statutory meeting intended to deliberate on progress achieved in the implementation of public security programmes as well as consideration of strategic matters for recommendation to the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. Public Security is one of the main sectors of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation whose main agenda in regional integration is driven through the attendant sectors of Immigration, Refugees, Parks and Wildlife, as well as Customs.

Speaking on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the Director of the Organ on Politics Defence and Security Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardosostated that Public Security remains a key developmental agenda item towards Regional Integration. Mr Cardoso pointed out that the Committee has made strides in implementation of key strategic deliverables and highlighted the following;

The completion of the Desk Top Study on the implementation of the African Migration Policy Framework in the SADC Region;

The consolidation of the SADC Guidelines for Monitoring and Reporting on Trafficking in Persons which propose a robust monitoring and evaluation process for the data on Trafficking in Persons;

The resuscitation of the UNIVISA Pilot Project with the four Pilot Member States that have submitted their Security Assessments;

Finalisation of the Common Regional Refugees and Asylum Seekers Management Framework; and the implementation of the Law Enforcement and Anti- Poaching Strategy (LEAP) through establishment of multi-sectoral National Anti- Poaching Task Forces, establishment of National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structures and the conducting of Coordinated, concurrent and /or joint Operations.

Mr Cardoso also appraised the Committee of the commencement of the implementation of the Pillar Assessed Grant and Delegation Agreement (PAGODA) Support to Peace and Security Programme, supported by the European Union under the 11th EDF, meant to impact on a wide spectrum of Key Result Areas including Transnational Organised Crime, Gender Based Violence, Elections and Peace Mediation.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs in Zambia, who is also the Chairperson of the PSSC Committee, Dr Liya Nawa-Mutale pointed out that there was need to address issues of public security which have potential to divide the SADC region; such as irregular and uncontrolled migration, human and drug trafficking, as well as illegal trade in wildlife products. She urged the committee to come up with interventions which will aid Member States in harnessing peace and order so as to accomplish national development, social harmony, as well as economic and political aspirations.

Source: Southern African Development Community (SADC)