Minister of Justice Given Lubinda says the government is cognisant of the role that the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA) plays towards achieving sustainable economic and social progress through increased co-operation and integration.
Mr. Lubinda cited fields of trade, agriculture, monetary affairs, transport, and communication and information technology as among the sectors COMESA is focusing on.
He said COMESA cannot be successful without proper legal and regulatory instruments to support implementation of programmes and activities that would facilitate the organization to attain the desired results.
Speaking during the launch of the COMESA court of justice arbitration rules (2018), Mr. Lubinda said absence of the required legal instruments and regulations makes it impossible for the 21 COMESA Member States to benefit from the organization.
He hailed the COMESA ministers of justice and Attorneys General for playing a significant role in the development of legal instruments that underpin programme implementation.
“It is in this light that I recognise the importance of your meeting towards ensuring that the appropriate legal frameworks are provided for COMESA and its institutions to support their functions. I, therefore, commend the COMESA Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General for playing a significant role in the development of legal instruments,” he said.
At the same event which coincided with preparations for COMESA’s 25th Anniversary, the Minister of Justice said the member states are delighted with the reduced tariffs launched and which saw the implementation of the COMESA Free Trade Area in 2001.
And COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe hailed the Ministers of Justice and Attorney Generals in all the 21 member states, for having come up with consolidated legal frameworks.
Ms Kapwepwe explained that the sound legal frameworks have enabled COMESA to move towards the attainment of the aims and objectives of the Common Market as well as fulfil the role as the building block of the African Economic Community.
Meanwhile, President of the COMESA court of Justice Lombe Chibesakunda disclosed that the rules launched yesterday were adopted at the last meeting of the COMESA Council of Ministers that was held in Lusaka on 25th November 2018.
Justice Chibesakunda explained that article 28 of the COMESA treat gives the court jurisdiction to hear arbitrator matters that may be brought to it, pursuant to an arbitration.
She further said the new arbitration rules will therefore ensure that the court remains competitive and a world-class arbitrator tribunal.
COMESA will on November 28th 2019 celebrate its 25th Anniversary as the successor to the Preferential Trade Area in 1994.