UNGA78: Full Speech of Tanzania’s VP Dr Mpango at UN General Assembly in New York


H.E. Dennis Francis, President of the 78 th Session of the UN General Assembly; H.E. António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations; Excellencies Heads of State and Government; Ladies and Gentlemen.

Mr. President,

Please allow me to start by conveying to this August Assembly, fraternal greetings from H.E. Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, who could not attend this important session due to pressing national commitments.

It is a great honour and privilege to address the Assembly on her behalf and for the people of my country. I also wish to join those who have spoken before me in congratulating you, Mr. President, on your election to preside over the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.

I pledge Tanzania’s full support to your presidency. Similarly, I wish to pay tribute to your predecessor, H.E. Csaba Kőrösis, who successfully steered the 77th Session of the UNGA. In the same way, I commend the Secretary General and the UN Secretariat, for dedicated service to humanity, in the face of many daunting global challenges.

A. Theme of the 78th Session:

Mr. President, This year, the Assembly is meeting specifically in search of rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity. However, for decades now, the persistent voice of the global south calling in the wilderness: make straight the way toward peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all, has fallen on deaf ears! The hitherto strong historical solidarity, fraternity and commitment to the principles of non-interference, equality between nations and mutual benefit, bequeathed to us by the UN founding fathers, is withering away. As a result of this paralysis in multilateralism, we have now begun to witness shifting geopolitical tectonic plates and creation of new blocs, seeking to replace the now obviously dysfunctional world order.

Trust among states has worn away and there is erosion of the rule of 2 law and a revert back to unilateralism. The effectiveness of the UN system and multilateral financial institutions is now being questioned more than ever before, calling for their immediate reform. All this is happening at a time when the world is reeling from the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, relentless wrath of climate change, horrendous armed conflicts, global food insecurity, looming energy and debt crisis as well as stubborn poverty and growing inequality.

Furthermore, implementation performance of SDGs 2030 has been disappointing, mainly as a result of unfulfilled promises of finance and technology by the global north and limited fiscal space in most African countries. In order to rebuild trust, it is imperative that the global north walks the talk on its promises and listens to the voices of the global south. Analogously, the global south must re-engineer its domestic revenue mobilisation effort, including putting an end to haemorrhage of its natural resource wealth and illicit capital outflows

B. Global Peace, Security and Combating Terrorism:

Mr. President, Peace is undeniably a prerequisite for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ironically, even in this 21st century, some nations are still firing guns and missiles at each other! However, the fact is that massive production of weapons and skyrocketing military spending on armed conflicts is compromising the promises we all made to the most vulnerable among us (children, youth, women and the poor) to build a better/prosperous world and create opportunities for all, leaving no one behind. In this regard, Tanzania highly commends the United Nations, for its tireless efforts in maintaining international peace and security. We applaud the Secretary General’s New Agenda for Peace, unveiled on 20th July 2023, which provides a great vision for multilateral efforts toward peace and security on the basis of international law. I therefore implore each one of us in this Assembly, to give due consideration to the priorities stipulated therein, for they resonate very well with the spirit and essence of the theme of this Assembly.

Mr. President, Tanzania remains fully committed and ready to work with the UN family in maintaining global peace and security to make the world a safer place to live in, not only for us but more importantly for the generations to come. Tanzania firmly believes that the world needs to invest more in dialogue and diplomacy to prevent and resolve armed conflicts. Wars and confrontations must be avoided at all cost 3 because in war everyone loses, including the non-warring parties. In this regard, Tanzania has and will continue to contribute to peace making and peace keeping efforts in Africa and elsewhere in the world. As of March 2023, Tanzania stood as the 12th largest contributor among 125 countries in UN peace keeping missions.

Tanzania urges the international community to increase support to regional initiatives to bring peace to war torn parts of the African continent. Those who participate in fuelling conflicts in Africa either for the purpose of profiting from arms trade or access to blood mineral wealth should be tracked and condemned openly by the United Nations. With regard to combating terrorism, Tanzania has strengthened capacity to deal with cross–border terrorism, working with our neighbours and international partners, especially through sharing of information and strategies.

C. Implementation of SDGs:

Mr. President,

Three days ago, we gathered in this hall for a second review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and implementation of the 17 SDGs. It is discouraging to note that at half time, we are off-track to meet most of the Goals. The UN Secretary General’s Progress Report, reveals that: a mere 15% of the 140 targets are on track while a staggering 37% have either stagnated or even regressed from the 2015 baseline. This underperformance calls for supercharged implementation and partnership especially prioritizing to scale up investment in people.

Mr. President,

Tanzania is fully committed to implement the SDGs as envisaged. In July this year, Tanzania presented its second Voluntary National Report (VNR) which shows that, overall, there has been significant progress with respect to SDGs 2 – 7 as indicated by an increase in food sufficiency ratio, availability of essential medicines, decline in under 5 mortality, increase in pre and primary GERs, significant milestones in pioneering gender equality, improved water supply coverage in urban and rural areas as well as population connected to electricity. However, only moderate performance has been recorded for SDG 1, SDG 8 and SDG 10.

To ensure successful implementation of SDGs, Tanzania is determined to take actions to improve further the domestic revenue effort while capitalizing on PPPs. We are also prioritizing investments in the social service sectors, agriculture and agribusiness, value addition and infrastructure, as well as uplifting of skills for the 4 youth. In addition, harnessing science, technology and innovation is also key to hastening implementation of the SDGs.

D. Climate change:

Mr. President, Climate change has now become the world’s greatest threat. Recent natural calamities which have devastated parts of some countries around the world, amplify the horrible effects of climate change. On this note, Tanzania offers our deepest condolences to the Governments and People of Libya and the Kingdom of Morocco for the loss of lives and properties caused by floods and earthquakes. Furthermore, the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded an alarming reality that the world is off-track the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris. Disturbingly, the report indicates that Africa is warming at an accelerated pace, outstripping the global rate. As such, climate change has and will continue to adversely impact Africa and hamper its progress.

Tanzania, therefore, reiterates its call for urgent and concerted action by all nations, to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen mitigation and adaptation measures. Together, we must create an enabling environment and facilitate investments needed to unlock resources for scaling-up implementation of our climate commitments and decarbonisation of the global economy. We, the global community must act with urgency. Tanzania also reiterates its call for a fair and just clean energy transition for Africa.

E. Unilateral Coercive Measures:

Mr. President, Unilateral coercive measures have serious adverse effects on the targeted economies and innocent lives especially of women and children, the very people we have committed not to leave behind. Tanzania remains steadfast in its opposition to injustice wherever it is committed and by whoever. We stand against the imposition of unjust economic sanctions and other unilateral coercive measures that undermine sovereignty and prosperity for all. Likewise, we continue to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who continue to be denied their rights to self-determination and those living under occupation or domination. We call for the lifting of unjust sanctions and an end to occupation or subjugation. Tanzania also advocates for peaceful resolution of all territorial disputes in accordance with the principles set out in the United Nations Charter.

F. Conclusion:

Mr. President,

In closing, I wish to reaffirm Tanzania’s unwavering commitment to support the United Nations and its member states in implementing our common global agenda. We call upon warring parties around the world to silence their guns and missiles and give prominence to peace. Let us act towards each other with humility, not arrogance. Let’s heed the old wisdom that says: “an eye for an eye, leaves everybody blind”.

Let’s act together to address the climate crisis and hasten implementation of Agenda 2030. Our humble plea is that the voices, promises and solutions made or provided on this rostrum, ought to bring hope to the hopeless, dignity to the humiliated and justice to all.

I thank you.

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