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SOUTHERN AFRICAN BLOC AND UN AGREE TO BOOST COOPERATION ON PEACE AND SECURITY ISSUES

Source: unic.org

The United Nations and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) signed an agreement today to work together on issues vital to peace and security: conflict prevention, mediation and elections.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe characterized the agreement, which he signed with SADC Executive-Secretary Tomáz Augusto Salomão, as “the first step towards a very valuable partnership.”

The Framework for Cooperation aims to strengthen and draw upon both organizations' capacities, including SADC's knowledge and understanding of the region and the mediation, peacemaking and peacebuilding experience of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

It will include a two-way exchange of experiences with mediation and the provision of training and support in mediation, as well as DPA support to strengthen SADC's electoral capacity.

The agreement underlines the important links between elections and peace, with the two organizations seeking ultimately to “jointly contribute to the promotion and consolidation of peace and security in the Southern Africa sub-region.”

DPA has deployed a team to SADC's headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana, to implement the agreement.

In a related development, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss is meeting with a delegation from the SADC today on the margins of the UN summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), being held at UN Headquarters in New York.