New SADC chair, President Ian Khama's remarks at closing statement to the Heads of State summit which ended in Gaborone yesterday
I am honoured, once again to address this Summit, at the end of our official deliberations.
It has indeed been our pleasure to host you in the city of Gaborone. Your presence has made this Summit a success and is a true reflection of your unwavering commitment and support for SADC.
The people of Southern Africa would not judge us by the adoption of key strategic documents, but rather by the outcomes achieved, following implementation. I therefore call upon all of us to implement agreed priorities in these strategic plans in order to improve the well-being of our peoples. It goes without saying that we need each other if we are to prosper as a region.
The Summit has also adopted other important decisions that cut across sectors. It is necessary to have these decisions implemented in good time.
Yesterday, I did recognise the continued support to our regional development efforts by our International Cooperating Partners (ICPs). I wish to thank them once again for their immense contribution and urge them to continue to support us as we move towards regional industrialisation. While their financial support is commendable, it remains necessary for SADC to find innovative ways of financing the regional agenda.
This should be accompanied by operational efficiency at the SADC Secretariat to reduce administration costs in order to release resources for the implementation of SADC programmes. One thing, is that the SADC family shall always be characterised by common values, a common destiny, for a common people, that emerged from a common history, forever seeking a common future.
As I seek to conclude my remarks, let me state that this Summit comes at a time when there are many global developments that as a region we need to take note of: These include: the MDGs coming to an end and being succeeded by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and Environmental and Climate Change discussions, just to mention two.
As we individually or collectively participate in international fora on these critical issues, let us ensure that the SADC voice or position is taken aboard.
On this note, let me once again thank you all for making this Summit a success. This has been made possible by your efforts and participation.
Your Majesty, Your Excellencies, I wish to thank you once again for honouring us with your presence. I trust you have had a pleasant stay in Gaborone.
I thank you.