Ambassadors and High Commissioners from COMESA Member States in Zambia accredited to COMESA held their first meeting this year at the Secretariat, Friday 16 June 2017. The objective of the meeting was to review, with the Secretariat, the status of implementation of regional integration programmes as well as administrative matters.
Meeting as Permanent Representatives of their respective countries to COMESA, the diplomats discussed the status of ratification of the COMESA Free Trade Area in which 16 out of the 19 countries are now participating.
Further, the meeting noted the progress made towards implementation of the priority Decisions made by the COMESA Council of Ministers during its 36 Meeting in Madagascar in October 2016. Among them was a call to Member States to domesticate COMESA legal instruments and Council Decisions in their national legal regimes and institutional frameworks.
Also on the agenda was an update on the proposed construction of the new COMESA Headquarters. The Minister’s had urged for expedited action to conclude financing arrangements for the construction of the new Headquarters; and directed the Secretariat to commence construction immediately.
The Government of Zambia has allocated 10 acres of land for this purpose.
In addition, the Council had called upon member States to duly make their budgetary contributions to COMESA. The Permanent Representatives pledged to follow up with their respective countries on the implementation of the Council decisions and their outstanding commitments to the Secretariat budget and its institutions.
The meeting was chaired by the Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya. Another follow up meeting is schedule in the next two weeks where the PMs will elect their Bureau comprising of the Chair, Vice Chair and rapporteur. The Bureau is expected to come up with a schedule of quarterly meetings.