October 2014
Speech of the United Nations Association of Tanzania on the
Occasion of the 69
Anniversary of the United Nations, delivered at
the Tanzania Flag Raising Day by Reginald Munisi, Chairperson of
UNA Tanzania.

Your excellency, ladies and gentlemen. Protocol is dully observed.

Today on the occasion of the 69
anniversary of the United Nations, permit me on
behalf of the United Nations Association and the Youth of United Nations
Association in Tanzania and beyond, to convey congratulatory wishes to the
United Nations family, the Government of Tanzania and Global community on
another milestone. 2014 has been a momentous year for efforts to address
challenges of poverty, uphold human rights, strengthen the rule of law and civic
participation, and increase cooperation.

But perhaps another reason why 2014 is a momentous year is because the United
Nations Association of Tanzania is also marking 50 years since it was established.
Since 1964, UNA Tanzania has worked to promote the principles and values of the
United Nations and worked tirelessly to bring people closer to the UN. In this time,
we have focused on among others, the need to create structures to uphold human
rights. This culminated in the establishment of the Tanzania Human Rights
Commission and Good Governance. Further to this, UNA Tanzania has dedicated
its mandate towards increasing civic engagement in the improvement of wellbeing
through implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

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One important lesson we have learnt is the need to ensure that the common
Tanzanian, in particular those who are marginalized (women, young people, the
disabled and destitute) have the opportunities and avenues to contribute to their
own development. There is no sustainable way to ensure the plight of our people
changes without making sure they are part of the equation. This is why UNA
Tanzania identifies closely with this year’s Flag Raising Day theme – “Post 2015 –
leave no one behind”.

Your excellency,

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) gave the world a framework for the
first time with which to address the common challenges to people’s wellbeing,
livelihoods and sustainability. The MDGs transformed the way countries
conceived and pursued development targets. The drive behind the framework in
Tanzania saw a transformation and evolution of our national development
frameworks – from the MKUTA and MKUZA to MKUKUTA I and II, and now
Big Results Now and the Five Year Development Plan. Throughout this journey,
Tanzania and its development partners must question what extent key segments of
the population are engaged and reached through these processes.

Tanzania, like much of the African continent, has the youngest population like no
other time in history, with more than 65% of the population under 35 years. This
important human capital has remained significantly untapped due to inadequacies
in the training they receive and opportunities to engage in a limitedly saturated
economy. Young people cannot be forgotten in the momentum towards the
October 2014
expiration of the MDGs and indeed in crafting a new development agenda beyond

Women and young girls as well cannot be left behind, but the systemic challenges
they are facing continue to be far reaching and must be addressed. There are still
high numbers of child marriages and pregnancies; maternal mortality rates are still
at similar levels as they were at the onset of the MDGs; Gender Based Violence
continues to be prevalent, with negative socio-cultural norms driving up incidence
and pulling women’s advancement down the ladder. It has been demonstrated that
with their education and participation, women can contribute billions in our
economies. They cannot be left behind.

As we move into the final leg of the Post 2015 agenda process, these issues must
catalyze and inform our position as we push for commitments on addressing
poverty, improving health, increasing access to education and fostering a
supportive environment for economic participation, especially for young people, in
particular young girls, and women.

Your excellency,

No one should be left behind. Not just in the Post 2015 agenda and beyond, but in
every manner and fabric of society. What can and will ensure we achieve this is a
strong, responsive, engaging and accountable governance system. Tanzania is at a
tasking but important juncture in its history where this can be demonstrated – and
this is through the ongoing new constitution development process. While we will
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not indulge in the political specter that has enveloped this process, UNA Tanzania
has said and reiterates that we will not compromise on the issue of human rights.
Human Rights must be inherent and granted without distinction in the constitution.
To do the contrary, Tanzania would be sowing the seeds for an uncertain future.
We cannot expect Tanzanian’s not to demand a higher standard of protection.
UNA Tanzania calls on the constitution process to ensure the fundamentals of
human rights are a dominant feature in the new constitution, where they are not
compromised by political dynamics in the country.

Your excellency,

As I conclude, UNA Tanzania reiterates its commitment to continue working
closely with the Government, United Nations in Tanzania, Development Partners
and Tanzanians at large. Our quest is to remain a relevant actor in bringing about a
conscious and engaging populace. We continue to promote public awareness and
understanding on the work of the United Nations.

As we turn 50 in 2014, we call on Government, the UN and partners across to
reaffirm your commitments to improve the lives of Tanzanians, to usher in a
conviction to transform the face of poverty in the country; improve health and
access to services; strengthen education and training; broaden action to sustain the
environment, and most central – ensure that all Tanzanians are an integral part of
carving their own destiny and no one is left behind.

Thank you.