Remarks by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the Gala Dinner hosted for the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ, 30 July 2012

Your Excellencies, Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Executive Secretary of SADC: Dr Tomáz Salomão
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Senior Officials of the MCO,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Allow me to take this opportunity to welcome you all once again to South Africa. The convening of this statutory SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ meeting in South Africa was indeed a great honour and privilege for the Government and people of South Africa.

It has been a great pleasure to have you in our midst and can only trust that you found the arrangements put at your disposal conducive to your personal comfort.
Your immense co-operation has seen our region emerge victorious in the march for the leadership of the AU Commission. I am elated that we succeeded in this venture and am especially humbled by the unwavering support in word and in deed that led to the historical outcome achieved in Addis Ababa. I wish to express heartfelt gratitude in my personal capacity and on behalf of the government and people of South Africa. This is a victory for democracy in the continent and SADC in particular and we accept the responsibility as a positive contributor to a united, peaceful, secure and developmental AU.

 I wish to pay a special tribute to all SADC Ministers for their commitment, dedication, sacrifices of and putting aside their national programs and families to focus on this historic mission.

For all of us in the SADC family, this Organization remains the principal vehicle for regional peace, stability and security. As confirmed by our deliberations today, we continue to seek the harmonization of policies through this platform in order to give expression to the vision of a prosperous, peaceful and stable region.

Once more, we are very happy to be among friends who have stood by us as we prosecuted a difficult struggle against apartheid and are today true African compatriots in the new struggle for African unity and against poverty and underdevelopment.

Your Excellencies let me again thank you for visiting our country and your important contributions to the deliberations today bears testimony to the unity that SADC enjoys immensely.

Ladies and Gentleman

Please rise and join me in a toast to good health and prosperity of Your Excellencies and to the everlasting and enduring friendship between the wonderful people of Southern Africa.

To friendship

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