"In Botswana, the long-awaited Article 8 Political Dialogue finally took place on 20 February 2020, after an interruption of nearly 3 years. Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Ms Unity Dow, welcomed the opportunity to confirm our already strong partnership and to strengthen, deepen and adjust our common priorities.
Our current cooperation programmes were appreciated and many areas for increased cooperation and exploration of synergies were identified – climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, cybersecurity, cooperation in the sports, culture, heritage and the artefacts sectors. The Policy Dialogue Facility and the opportunities it presents raised a lot of interest. On NCJ/AML, the Government's commitment to upholding the timeline for ratifying the MAC was confirmed. The Minister agreed that the proposed CEO Forum should be further explored. Her visit to Brussels early April will offer her another opportunity to present her views on the Botswana-EU partnership.
On Human Rights, Botswana is to a large extent on the same line as the EU, except on the death penalty. However, the envisaged revision of the Constitution might provide an opportunity for a broader discussion on the abolition of capital punishment. The revision – for which a timeline has yet to be set – will also address issues like the political institutions or women representation in politics.
The Minister gave a clear signal that Botswana will continue supporting multilateralism together with the EU and the UN and confirmed that the government is still committed to the ICC.
A dedicated meeting on EU support to SADC, the situation in a few specific SADC member states and Botswana's ambitions for their chairmanship of the SADC Organ will be organised in the coming weeks.
Both sides convened agreed to have the Political Dialogue more regularly, the next one possibly after President Masisi's visit to the EU, which might take place in June."