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Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Guest of Honor and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Bernard K. Membe delivering his statement of the day.

Your Excellency, Benjamin William Mkapa, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

Your Excellency Juma Alfani Mpango, Ambassador of the DRC and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps;

Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Tanzania;

Ambassador Filberto Sebrigondi, Head of the European Delegation to Tanzania;

Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Other Members of the Diplomatic Corp; 

Heads of the UN Specialized Agencies, Funds and Programmes;

Permanent Secretaries and other Government Officials;

Religious Leaders;

Members of the Press;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good Morning!!

I am greatly honoured to welcome you all to this auspicious occasion as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. This occasion gives us yet another opportunity to reflect on the organisation’s achievements and also revisit the areas we need to put more efforts thus to meet the prevailing global challenges. 

On 24th October every year, the world commemorates the inception of this noble universal body. 

This year however, the climax of our celebrations in Tanzania has come a little earlier as we pave way for the general elections which will be held on 25th October.

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

You may recall on 25th September 2015, the Heads of State and Government adopted a new global agenda titled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda coincidentally correlates with the Secretary General’s global theme for UN Day this year, Strong UN: Better World. To give it a deeper emphasis, we in Tanzania have derived our theme as “One World, Seven Billion People, Protecting Environment is our Responsibility”.

These themes put together reflect People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership, commonly known as 5Ps, which summarises the seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals in the preamble of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ladies and Gentlemen;
Prior to this occasion, there were series of other events which were part of the celebrations of the UN at 70. These events which reaffirmed our national theme included: planting trees on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro; visiting UNDP financed biogas project in Kilema Seminary Secondary School in Moshi; and building toilets at Kiboroloni Primary School, one of ten beneficiary primary schools in Kilimanjaro region. Other activities conducted were cleaning the Temeke Sterio Market to indicate the importance of urban sanitation; and just yesterday, we had a very vibrant and insightful two hours Symposium with the Youth under the theme “UN at 70, Addressing Global Challenges”. Today’s flag raising ceremony is therefore the culmination of all these activities. 

On behalf of my Ministry and the UN in Tanzania, I would like to thank you, your Excellency Former President for your continued dedication on matters that aim to develop not only Tanzania, but world at large. I am confident that the youth and every other participant to the symposium benefitted from your wisdom and candid reflections.  

Your Excellency Former President,

The public may wish to note, you were among the Members of the Secretary General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide 
Coherence, which among other things, recommended the establishment of the Delivering as One (DaO) Initiative. 

Tanzania took a bold step to be a pilot country under this Initiative, which eventually resulted in the establishment of the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP), an important tripartite working plan between Government, UN Organisations and other Development Partners. I am glad to inform you and everyone present here, we have successfully accomplished three out of four pillars of DaO. We now have One Leader who is the Resident Coordinator (RC), One Budget running at the same circle as that of Government, and One Programme as UNDAP. Moving forward, we are to implement the fourth and last pillar, One Office. So far, the Government has secured one acre of land in Masaki area. We have formed a team of experts to advise on different options of financing and expediting the implementation of the project. 

Guest Speaker;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
As we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, we are reminded that this noble Organisation was created out of ashes of two world wars. Its primary responsibility was to maintain peace and security by preventing the occurrence of another war of the same scale. We can undoubtedly say that at its 70 years of existence, the UN has succeeded in preventing major conflicts and in building peace. 

However, peace and security situation around the world remain fragile and most pressing challenge to the UN. The world continues to witness the rise, widespread and unending intra-state and inter-state wars and conflicts, and at the same time, experience the deadly scourges of terrorism and violent extremism. With these going on, the world is certainly not at absolute peace. 

We all know too well what is going on in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Central African Republic to mention a few. Recurring conflicts and wars, and increasing terrorism and extremism, have caused too many deaths, human sufferings, and too much untold sorrow to mankind. This is unacceptable.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the number of refugees and internally displaced people has reached its highest point since World War II. In 2005, globally, it was estimated that refugees, asylum seekers and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were 38 million. In 2015, just a period of 10 years, the number has gone up by 22 million, reaching 60 million, the highest ever. This means that, one in every 122 persons is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. Regrettably, this number continues to increase unabatedly. 

Ladies and Gentlemen;

As of this month, Tanzania continues to host more than 169, 874 refugees. Sadly, this number has increased, just after Tanzania granted naturalization and issued citizenship certificates to more than 162,000 refugees in October 2014. By September this year, we have received more than 90,000 new refugees. This indeed is a setback to our efforts to ensure people remain in their countries of domicile and participate in development activities.

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

As it was discussed during the symposium yesterday, most of the Organs of the UN have remained with the same status quo for the past 70 years ago. So far, there have not been tangible reforms of the General Assembly (GA), Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Security Council. For the UN to remain inclusive and credible, these reforms must be discussed openly and adhered to. The General Assembly and Economic and Social Council have continued to adopt countless resolutions and decisions that are not fully implemented. These key Organs on economic and social development cannot enforce implementation of their decisions by the UN Member States. This is not the UN we want at 70. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 
You will agree with me that, it is high time the demands of the majority of the membership of the United Nations are heard and heeded too.  The Security Council must be reformed now to reflect the realities and needs of the contemporary world. Despite the fact that Africa is the region with the largest membership in the UN; and most peacekeeping operations are happening in Africa, ironically, the continent has no permanent seat in the Security Council. Africa therefore deserves better and fair representation and treatment in the Security Council. We cannot afford to have decisions committed by the Security Council on African affairs without permanent representation of the African countries 

Ladies and Gentlemen;
I am pleased to note that, the SDGs have taken on board the unfinished business of the MDGs. One can actually call the SDGs - MDGs-Plus. SDGs 1 to 6 are a continuation of MDGs 1 to 6; SDGs 11 to 15 are expanded form of MDG 7; and SDG 17 which addresses the means of implementation and Global Partnership IS MDG 8. 

Apart from those generic goals of MDGs, there are also new SDGs which aim at accelerating economic growth and sustainable development, particularly in developing countries. The new goals are on agriculture; energy sustainability; economic growth; infrastructure development and sustainable industrialisation; reduce inequality within and among nations; 
and good governance.  These SDGs are critical in transforming our economies to middle income. It is my hope that, this time we will walk the talk!

Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is at this juncture, I wish to acknowledge commendable job done so far by Mr. Alvaro Radriguez, since he joined us 13 
months ago as the new UN Resident Coordinator. Your bottom-up approach, from rural to the urban has proven to be a workable strategy. We therefore hope, you will be fully involved in the implementation of the New Global Agenda in order to bring a transformative change in Tanzania. 
Ladies and Gentlemen;
We are 12 days away. Tanzanians will be casting their ballot for the President, Parliamentarians and Councilors. Since independence, we have witnessed transfer of power peacefully from one President to another in four consecutive terms. We are regarded as one of Africa’s most peaceful countries since independence and among the continent’s strong democratic countries.
I appeal to my fellow Tanzanians particularly the leaders of various groups and political parties to hold this legacy close to their hearts.  We should remember that there is no development without peace and tranquillity; Despite our political affiliations and ideological differences, we are still one nation, and one people.  

On behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, I wish to convey my sincerely gratitude to the UN particularly UNDP and other Development Partners who through the Democratic Empowerment Project have provided support of USD 22.5 million for the General Elections. This is another instance that UN’s role in promoting democracy and good governance is indisputable.

Distinguished Guests, 

Before I invite H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa, Former President to adress to this gathering, allow me to express Ministry’s appreciation to the Heads of Social Security Funds, Azam and IPP Media for their support in ensuring the success of these commemorations. We thank you most sincerely!!
I now have the honour on behalf of His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, his entire Government and the People of the United Republic of Tanzania to wish the UN all over the world a Happy 70th Birthday. We congratulate the Secretary General, UN staff  serving around the world and all Member States of the UN for the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. 

Mheshimiwa Rais Mstaafu;
Baada ya maelezo yangu hayo, kwa heshima na taadhima kubwa ninaomba sasa kukukaribisha uzungumze kidogo na hadhara hii. Karibu sana Mheshimiwa!!

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