As the United Nations marks its 67th anniversary this year, it has vowed to continue extending technical support and knowledge-sharing to Tanzania to enable government ministries, departments, agencies, local government authorities and non-state actors to better manage the economy, promote equal access to economic opportunities, improve trade and use natural resources sustainably to spur productivity and job creation.
The global body is also assisting the government in developing an inclusive growth strategy to help all Tanzanians to access opportunities for economic growth, in particular vulnerable groups such as women and people working in low paying sectors.
The strategy is to provide inputs to promote pro-poor and environmentally sustainable economic development through policy advocacy, capacity development and knowledge sharing.
“We have jointly celebrated the 2012 UN Week with various activities on the theme of Changing Peoples’ Lives: Greening the Environment for Sustainable Livelihoods.
This year we focused on environment, as majority of the population of Tanzania is highly dependent on environment and natural resources for livelihoods and quality of life.
On the other hand, Climate Change is posing severe challenges and these have become increasingly apparent in the form of floods, droughts and environmental degradation, in addition to deforestation, water source encroachment and unchecked cultivation.
We need some remedial action plans for mitigation and adaptation,” said Alberic Kacou, Resident Coordinator of the UN’s System in Tanzania when marking the UN Week.
“While, the Rio+20 aimed at securing renewed political commitment towards sustainable development, the 14th session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), of which, now Tanzania takes over the Presidency moved the environment and energy agenda further through Arusha Declaration.
The recent UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEA4ALL) mission to Tanzania held important discussions with the Government and other stakeholders on how SE4ALL can support Tanzania’s efforts in enhancing the energy agenda and to explore partnership opportunities for energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy,” he added.
Kacou said that Tanzania’s development aspirations will not be possible without peace and security in and around the region.
It is the moral obligation of every citizen and every community to maintain peace and harmony in the country, he emphasized.
“What is now needed is not a renewal of the pledges but effective implementation of the commitments made, considering the changing environment and the increased capacity of the institutions to perform their obligations as effective partners. The United Nations system has its own limitations” he noted.
However, he also pointed out that the UN does assess its comparative advantages and establishes appropriate partnerships to enhance the capacity and support the role of State and local authorities in providing stability, jobs and security for their people.
The UN Development Assistance Plan requires building analytical capacities within government to help them make policy choices to develop a pro-poor public finance framework and invest in economic sectors that are most likely to accelerate growth and employment.
The UN is also helping to strengthen national capacities in research, policy analysis and capacity development in the implementation of policies on national employment, productivity enhancement, trade development, the application of science, technology and innovation as well as the use of appropriate environment and population strategies, said Kacou.
Furthermore, he said support services, including value chain development are an important part of the UN assistance to improve productivity, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and services where more livelihood opportunities exist for low-income households.
“The UN is facilitating national and sub-national enterprise creation and productivity in agriculture and agro-industries including sustainable access to markets and trade integration, these measures should enable more household enterprises and small businesses to enter the economic mainstream, thus broadening economic participation” he said.
He added: “The government of Tanzania has made major strides in the health sector raising optimism to achieve the related Millennium Development Goals by 2015,
The major achievements have been on MDG 4 – reducing child mortality. Infant mortality rate has dropped from 115 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 51 in 2010, while under-five mortality has declined from 191 per 1000 live birth to 8”.
On the Millennium Development Goal 6, the UN boss said Tanzania has managed to reduce HIV incidence among the 15 to 49 year olds to 5.7 per cent which is closer to the agreed target.
According to preliminary data from the Tanzania HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey (THMIS) 2012, malaria prevalence among the children between 6 to 59 months old has reduced to 10 per cent.
“Again, Tanzania is likely to achieve the MDGs on education (MDG 2-achieving universal primary education and gender equality (MDG 3). It is also likely to achieve some other MDG targets such as increased access to improved drinking water in urban areas (MDG 7)...”he said.
For Tanzania, the most challenging still is achieving MDG1- reducing poverty and hunger by half, improving maternal mortality (MDG 5-reducing maternal mortality by three forth), access to improved drinking water in rural areas (MDG 7) and access to improved sanitation in both urban and rural areas.
Although Tanzania is likely to achieve the MDGs on gender equality, certain challenges still remain in the form of traditions like Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, which need significant attention. October 11 marked the celebrations of the first ever international day of Girl child and this year's theme was ‘child-marriage’.
On average, almost two out of five girls get married before their 18th birthday. Tanzania has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates in the world.
East African Cooperation Minister Samuel Sitaa said at the 67th anniversary of the UN that Tanzania is of the view that the UN has done fairly well in a number of areas but challenges still remain. Today, the world faces unprecedented challenges in the areas of peace and security, climate change, extreme poverty and hunger, terrorism, piracy and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to name but a few. Most of these issues are global in nature and do not respect national boundaries.
He said in order to address these challenges, there is a need for the UN that reflects the needs of the current world - the world of the 21st Century. The 67 year old UN must confront current global challenges from that angle.
“We as members states of the UN should complete the journey of the reforms that we started for the UN to remain relevant.
Completion of these reforms is long overdue. We must strengthen the United Nations Organs particularly the General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council which are more inclusive, democratic, transparent and representative. These Organs are better placed to address most of the challenges confronting us,” he said.
”As we are here celebrating the UN Day, Members of the UN are meeting in New York to deliberate on different issues affecting the world. One issue that has been, and is being discussed is about the Post-2015 development agenda, the completion of MDGs and the formulation of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he noted.
He said the UN System and the UN Team at the Country level must assist countries to undertake a comprehensive review of the implementation of the MDGs. This review must indicate the status of implementation of each goal.
“With the cooperation from the United Nations and our development partners, Tanzania has made progress in the achievement of the MDGs. We have attained Goal 2: Universal primary education.
We have also made considerable gains on Goal 3: Promoting gender equality and empowerment of women; and Goal 6: Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases. Tanzania has also achieved moderate results on other remaining goals. The Government is still working hard with our development partners to ensure that we achieve them as well” He says.
“On behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, I wish to appreciate the support rendered to Tanzania in this regard. While appreciating the support provided so far, we appeal to the UN System and the international community in its entirety, to recommit fully to the implementation of all the Millennium Development Goals by the set deadline of 2015”.
Tanzania is proud to have been one of the eight countries that volunteered to pilot the Delivering as One Initiative. The initiative has proven to be a success by increasing the coherence and efficiency of the United Nations Systems at country level and further reducing bureaucracy and duplications of development programmes.
Through the joint planning, programming, budgeting and implementing, Tanzania has experienced more strengthened partnership and cooperation with the UN System and development partners at the country level.