A call for a regional parliament will to allow the citizens of SADC to participate in regional issues, adding their voice to discussions on forms and function of governance.
This demand grows out of serious concern with slow progress in the implementation of Protocols, weak enforcement, accountability and compliance mechanisms for effective regional integration and governance in SADC.
It is from this perspective and need of a well-governed and accountable SADC that we call on our leaders to establish a SADC Parliament that – as an oversight body – will ensure accountability, progress in the implementation of the agreed Protocols, and responsiveness to peoples’ needs.
The high levels of corruption, misuse of public monies, human and social deprivation, gender inequality, low levels of employment, especially high levels of youth unemployment, poor quality of education, the on-going scourge of HIV/AIDS and high levels of food insecurity, which characterise SADC, as evidenced in the lack of progress made with the MDGs, all point to the urgent need to fundamentally restructure the governance paradigm within SADC.
Upholding the principle of separation of powers at the regional level, we call on our leaders to elevate the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a SADC Parliament.
Since the Inception of the SADC in 1992, the region has seen democratic consolidation and efforts to increase regional integration efforts, with more than 25 SADC protocols and declarations coming into effect. Alongside this development have been increasing demands for the civilian participation in the formulation and implementation of public policy.
The absence of a fully functional SADC Regional Parliament is seen as a major limiting factor in Southern Africa’s integration matrix. The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1996 to “constitute a Regional Parliamentary framework for dialogue on issues of regional interest and concern.”
The SADC-PF is pursuing its objective of transforming into a fully-fledged regional parliament, developing a draft protocol on the establishment of a regional parliament – the Draft Protocol Executive summary on the SADC Parliament (DPSP). The protocol defines, among other issues, the powers, functions and relational linkages among the proposed parliamentary body, national parliaments and other organs of SADC.