The Vice President stood in for President Danny Faure at the SADC Summit meeting, which is being conducted virtually for the first time due to travel restrictions currently in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
On this momentous occasion which saw the United Republic of Tanzania hand over the chairship of SADC to the Republic of Mozambique, Member States also welcomed new leaders to the organisation. H.E Dr Moeketsi Majoro, Prime Minister of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and H.E Dr Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, took office in May and June 2020 respectively.
2020 marks 40 years since the establishment of SADC and this year’s Summit theme celebrates 40 years of ‘Building Peace and Security whilst Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges’. On this point, VP Meriton centred his intervention on the pronounced socioeconomic impact that Covid-19 has had in the SADC region and reiterated his message of solidarity and pragmatism to mitigate the effects of the virus.
VP Meriton drew particular attention to the ripple effects on the economic pillars of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are heavily reliant on the tourism industry. As nations that are particularly vulnerable to crises, VP Meriton called for special consideration to be given to SIDS like Seychelles in order to boost the economic recovery of the Southern African region.
The Delegation of the Republic of Seychelles also comprised:
- H.E Marie-Antoinette Rose-Quatre – High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa and accredited to SADC
- Ms. Amenda Padayachy – Director General for Regional Integration & International Cooperation, Department of Foreign Affairs
- Mr. Jean-Paul d’Offay – Director for Regional Integration, Department of Foreign Affairs
- Mr. Rodney Sinon – Second Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs
- Mr. Jeremy Radegonde – Third Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs
- Ms. Nadine Potter – Department of Finance/Member of the SADC Finance Subcommittee