|H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania delivering his statement at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday September 25, 2014|
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE SIXTY-NINTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK,
25th SEPTEMBER, 2014
Theme: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative
Post-2015 Development Agenda”
His Excellency Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly;
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of United Nations;
Excellencies Heads of State and Government;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I congratulate you, my dear brother, Mr. Sam Kutesa on your well-deserved election as President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly. While wishing you every success in discharging your duties and responsibilities, my delegation and I promise you our full support and cooperation. Allow me also to pay tribute to your predecessor, H.E. John W. Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda for his remarkable leadership of the 68th Session.
Our illustrious Secretary General, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, deserves praise and appreciation for his leadership and the good work he is doing for our esteemed organization. He has been performing his duty with courage, dedication, passion and commitment in driving the UN agenda. We will ever be grateful to him.
We welcome and fully endorse the theme of this year’s debate: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”. We see its discussion making important contributions in the intergovernmental negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda that are about to start.
Post- 2015 Development Agenda
As we dedicate our time and efforts to the negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, we must not lose sight of the unfinished business of Millennium Development Goals. It is important that the targets and indicators that will not be accomplished are factored properly in the Post 2015 Development Agenda. In the mean time we should ensure that we use the remaining 461 days to accelerate the pace of implementing the MDGs.
The issue of financing the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda, must be given special attention. I am mentioning this matter because experience has taught us that other factors aside, we will fall short of attaining a number of the MDGs targets and indicators because of unpredictable, unreliable, insufficient and untimely availability of financial resources.
Therefore, for the post 2015 Development Agenda to be achieved, we must device a mechanism to ensure stable, predictable and reliable sources of finance for their implementation.
There is more to the year 2015 than the deadline of the MDGs and the onset of the post 2015 sustainable goals. The year 2015 is also a deadline for the world to conclude a legally binding Climate Change agreement.
We thank the UN Secretary General for convening the Climate Summit that took place on September 23rd, 2014, here at the United Nations. It afforded us a unique opportunity to put our minds together and deliberate on the way to save this planet from disaster and advance on green development pathways. It was very opportune, indeed, to hold this Summit two and half months before the COP 20 in Lima, Peru in December, 2014 and one year before COP 21 in Paris, France. In many ways the Summit may help make the work in Peru not to be so difficult. As you know a success at the Lima Conference will mean a lot for the Paris Conference where we expect to conclude a legally binding Climate Agreement. We know it is not easy but, Tanzania and Africa as whole is appealing to all countries from all continents to do whatever it takes to ensure that COP 21 in Paris in December, 2015 delivers on the expectations of all of us. Failure should not be an option.
The United Nations Reforms
United Nations reforms are long overdue. Reports that consultations and negotiations are not showing encouraging sign of progress is very frustrating, indeed. We should remain steadfast and vigilant not to allow the momentum to be lost. We humbly request you, Mr. President, to use your good offices and longstanding diplomatic skills to revitalize the process. We must keep the flame glowing.
Global Security Situation
Global peace and security is in a state of flux. The events occurring in North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa are matters of concern for us all. Equally, important the menace of terrorism, illicit exploitation of natural resources; poaching; illicit trade in narcotic drugs and weapons are making the world less secure.
Terrorism is assuming new dimensions making it the big threat of the moment because of its indiscriminate, lethal and callous character. Hundreds of innocent people have lost their lives or have been wounded. Many more have been forced to flee and some abducted with fatal consequences. No country is insulated and nobody is safe. As such it calls for all of us to play an active role in the fight against terrorism and cross border crime. Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS and other terrorist organizations should not be allowed to have their way. Libya should not be left to disintegrate. The senseless fighting in the Central Africa Republic and South Sudan must be brought to an end. This world under the leadership of the United Nations Security Council and regional organizations has the capacity to do exactly that. Let us do what is required of us to stop the bloodshed, loss of life, suffering to innocent people and destruction of property.
Situation in Palestine
The horrifying scenes of bombing and death of innocent women, children as well as men in the recent hostilities between Israel and Palestine is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, this conflict has been going on for far too long while the lasting solution is known: two states living side by side harmoniously. This solution has been elusive for far too long. Time has come for the United Nations, the United States of America, Russia, Europe and other global and regional powers to come together in concerted efforts to make it happen. We shouldn’t wait any longer.
The Question of Western Sahara
With regards to the question of Western Sahara, let me reiterate the appeal I made last year, at the UNGA to the United Nations Security Council to do everything within its powers to resolve this problem once and for all. Honestly, I cannot comprehend why this problem, which happened about the same time with that of East Timor nearly 40 years ago should remain unresolved up to this day. What are those insurmountable challenges impeding the UN to end the impasse? Please do the needful and put the Saharawi question to rest. I know you can.
Unilateral Sanctions and Embargos
Once again, we in Tanzania wish to join the others who spoke before us in calling for ending the sanctions and embargo against Cuba and its people. For over 50 years, the embargo has condemned the people of Cuba including innocent children and women into perpetual hardship and poverty. It is high time this embargo is lifted and the people of Cuba are given the opportunity to live in dignity like everybody else on this planet.
This General Assembly is being held at a time when our brothers and sisters in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are confronting the worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic. In the three countries together with Nigeria some 2,400 people have lost their lives. The disease, which has no cure or vaccine yet, presents a major threat to the countries where the disease is known to exist, to neighbouring countries and beyond. Unless, the world succeeds to control the spread of this disease, there is every danger that it can become a global epidemic.
Our collective efforts in this regard, is the best way forward. I believe the world has the technology, knowledge and financial resources, which if put together, can stand up against the threat, posed by Ebola. We should also continue to support the efforts of our scientists who are working tirelessly, day and night, in search of cure and vaccines.
We applaud the efforts being taken by the UN, WHO, the US government and other countries with the technical-technological capabilities in assisting the affected countries and in the fight against the disease. We request four things. One, that this support be continued and bolstered where possible until the spread of the disease is put under control. Two, assist other nations in West Africa and elsewhere on the African continent to build capacity for surveillance, isolation and treatment. Three, efforts to get cure and vaccine, be intensified to save the lives of those infected and prevent others from being infected.
Finally, or number four please stop the stigma that is developing against Africa because of Ebola. Reports that a number of people from other continents are shying away from coming to Africa and cancelling travel plans because of Ebola is disturbing. It is threatening to kill the all important tourism industry, trade and investment flows to Africa. May the United Nations and friends of Africa, please help us to tell people of the world that Africa is a Continent of 54 independent countries and not a country with 54 provinces. Not all countries in Africa have disease. Moreover, many countries are far away from the concerned countries in West Africa. In fact, the affected countries are closer to Europe than they are to Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa in Eastern and Southern Africa to mention but a few. As a matter of fact they are 9 to 11 hours away by air. To cancel visit to all parts of Africa is incomprehensible and a gross injustice to the continent.
I am confident that this 7-day debate on the theme, “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda” affords us another opportunity to define a bright future for ourselves, our children, our grand children and their children and grand children. We should seize this moment to build on the success stories and lessons from many countries and peoples. We should also learn from the challenges and failures during the implementation of MDGs in conceiving the goals, targets and indicators of the post 2015 Development Agenda. Tanzania stands ready to cooperate with the rest of the members of the United Nations family in building consensus on the Post 2015 Development Goals.
Allow me to conclude by appealing to everyone here to promise to work for a post-2015 development agenda that will make the world a better place for all of us to live in.
I thank you for your kind attention!