Thursday, 5 January 2012

SADC leaders embrace MDGs

Southern Africa Social Forum (SASF) participants have
agreed  that citizens and Civil Society Organizations
should stand up and join hands to ensure that their
respective governments in SADC are on track towards
the fulfilling of Millennium Development Goals.
At the very end of 2006 SASF in Lilongwe, delegates
paraded colorful banners and donning t-shirts of all colors
with different messages. Rights activists from Swaziland,
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and
Malawi all walked from Civo Stadium to the Town Hall,
about five kilometers.
Participants marched in solidarity and country
representatives delivered speeches calling  for an end to
neo-liberalism and imperialism. They observed a moment
of silence of for all the late brothers and sisters that had
died in the struggle against negative forces that had not
been of their own making.  
Participants expressed the need for government to
free the media and facilitate a free access to information
arguing that they were tired with dictatorship cover ups.
They called for quick implementation of land reforms and
other laws in the region.
“There should be less talk and more action .SADC
governments must design policies and set aside adequate
resources to achieve the goals, the communique said.
It said governments in the region should ensure that
citizens, particularly those in rural areas, are consulted
widely to ensure that national development policies on
health reflect the needs and concerns.
“Governments should take the responsibility to educate,
sensitize citizens on their health rights and that information
should be disseminated in vernacular language,” reads the
It further suggests that leaders should prioritize access to
treatment like having health facilities near the communities
and essential drugs like anti retroviral (ARV’s), malaria
drugs, tuberculosis.
The communiqué added that governments should
recognize that women are critical to fighting poverty and
that no poverty eradication programme or initiative can
succeed without centralizing women’s rights and gender
equality issues.
Current  international policies rob women of livelihoods,
health care and other economic rights.
On a broader level it said international and national
policies are urged to consider poverty, privilege and
discrimination as inter-related and therefore feminization
of poverty is a reality that needs to be addressed by
inequalities of trade, debt and aid within the global policy

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