SADC - Peace, Security, Stability and Governance

The SADC Treaty states the vision of a shared future in an environment of peace, security and stability, regional cooperation and integration based on equity, mutual benefit and solidarity in the SADC region. SADC is consequently committed to the principles of the United Nations Charter, the Constitutive Act of the African Union, and the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. The latter includes the Continental Early Warning System where SADC has put in place schemes and networks of early warning in its region.[1]

In order to respect its commitments, SADC Heads of State and Government established the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in June 1996, and signed the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in 2001. The implementation of its goals and objectives are conducted through the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO) that was established in 2004, as outlined in both the RISDP and the Protocol. The implementation of SIPO is meant to strengthen and deepen cooperation in the areas of politics, defence and security in SADC. The SIPO was revised in November 2012, and is now in the process of being realigned in a medium term plan for the period 2015-2020, with a view to ensure that the RISDP and SIPO are fully harmonized. Furthermore, SADC ratified its Mutual Defence Pact that in 2003, which establishes a framework for security cooperation among member States in the face of external aggression, and reflects a broader intention to build a regional security community in the region.[2]

Article 4 of the SADC Treaty stipulates that: human rights, democracy and the rule of law are principles guiding the acts of its members States. The SADC region has made significant strides in the consolidation of the citizens' participation in the decision-making processes and consolidation of democratic practice and institutions. However, despite a number of successes in the area of politics, defence and security in recent years, SADC continues to face a number of political, economic and social challenges with regard to, economic underdevelopment and poverty; the HIV and AIDS pandemic; interstate and intrastate conflicts; consolidation of democracy and good governance; refugees, illegal migrants and internally displaced persons as well as corruption. 

[1] Sophie Desmidt, “Peacebuilding, conflict prevention and conflict monitoring in the African Peace and Security Architecture” (‎Maastricht, Netherlands; European Centre for Development Policy Management, 2016). Available from

[2] SADC, Mutual Defence Pact (Dar-es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, 2003). Available from