It is with immense pleasure that I release this statement to the Forum’s Member Parliaments and partners in view of celebrating the International Day of Democracy on this 15th September 2022.
On this day, the SADC-PF reminisces its core values and guiding principles which speak to the significance of the democratic framework that is a robust steppingstone for accountability, transparency and the existence of the rule of law. It is also recognised that Parliament, constituting of freely elected representatives by universal suffrage, represents the sterling reflection of a functioning democracy. The Forum subscribes to the modern view of a democracy which represents the “will of the people”, and also encompasses respect for human rights for all and the protection of minorities and marginalised groups.
The Forum has pursued with several initiatives in 2022 to ensure that democracy prevails in Southern Africa, including by participating in Election Observation Missions (EOMs) to ensure that election processes are regular, free and fair. Furthermore, in the last 8 months, the Forum has adopted 2 Model Laws, notably the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management (PFM), both of which promote parliamentary activism to advance democratic principles and the rule of law around those themes.
Today, the Forum further celebrates the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance which is a landmark regional instrument that encapsulates the coveted democratic principles which must be pursued with consistency by signatory Members, and which will undoubtedly elevate the region to the aspirations of the Sustainable Agenda 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063.
Happy International Day of Democracy!
Boemo SEKGOMA (Ms)