|Foreign ministers representing
SADC and European Union member states are set to meet in Gaborone, Botswana at the end of
November to exchange views and share experiences on economic integration.
Briefing journalists ahead of the meeting, Acting Executive
Secretary of SADC, Prega Ramsamy said the ministers are expected to review the political,
economic and social developments in the two regions.
(LtoR) Permanent Secretary in Botswanas Foreign Affairs
Ministry, Ernest Mpofu, SADC Acting Executive Secretary, Prega Ramsamy and EU Head of
Delegation in Botswana, Robert Collingwood at a media briefing in Gaborone.
| The meeting is also
expected to reaffirm the principles that guide relations between the two regions
democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law.
The ministers will focus on developments in the SADC
region including conflict prevention, management and resolution as well as specific
and political developments in the EU region particularly the EU
enlargement, said Ramsamy.
Other issues to be discussed include debt cancellation, and
building on the momentum created at the Africa-Europe Summit held in Cairo, Egypt in April
SADCs progress on regional integration will be
reviewed, as will be the new Cotonou Agreement which succeeded the 25-year old Lomé
Con-vention that expired in February 2000.
The ministers are expected to endorse recommendations of a
SADC-EU seminar on
|the rights of the child held in Harare last month, and
discuss illicit drug trafficking in diamonds and natural disaster prevention and
The biennial meeting started in 1994 when ministers from
the two regions met in Berlin, in what became known as the Berlin Initiative. Other
meetings have since been held in Windhoek (1996) and Vienna (1998).
The EU is a key international cooperating partner for SADC.
The European Commission has given SADC approx-imately 500 million euros since 1976, mainly
under the SADC-EC Regional Indicative Programme.
Ramsamy said the assistance has enabled SADC to
rehabilitate its ports and harbours, construct key roads, com-plete regional north-south
and east-west corridors, and achieve better animal dis-ease controls.