Author Archives: Usia Nkhoma-Ledama

Productive Social Safety Nets (PSSN) Project benefits 1.1 Million poor households in Tanzania

21 April 2016 Kibaha (Coastal Region) :– the Development Partners Group(DPG) undertook a field mission to Kibaha on April 21st to visit one of the PSSN pilot site implemented by TASAF to hear from the beneficiaries and the regional administration challenges and achievements of the program to date.
Development Partners have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TASAF to establish a mechanism for coordinated DPG support within a common consultative framework, with TASAF holding overall responsibility for implementing the PSSN.
With the overall objective of reducing extreme poverty by half by 2015, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania in 2013, started implementing a strategy through the Tanzania’s national social protection program with the aim of supporting 275,000 extreme poor households in 5 years. In Kibaha, a total of 7,642 beneficiary households have been targeted from 45 villages in 11 wards
Tanzania’’s social protection system, is central to achieving the country’s ambitious poverty reduction goals. The third phase of the PSSN ensures continued support to Tanzania’s policies for reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” the UN Resident Coordinator and DPG co-chair said
The program is having a positive impact on women and children in the region, and has generated better health and education outcomes, all of which ultimately increase productivity. Social protection is an investment, rather than a cost, the USAID ac Mission Director and DPG co-chair added.
Note to editors:
The United Nations Tanzania, World Bank, United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Irish Aid, USAID and Swedish International Development Cooperation(SIDA) are partners of the Tanzania Productive Social Safety Nets Projects (Tanzania PSSN Project) which funds the Tanzania’s national social protection program namely, Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) have so far helped 1.1 million vulnerable people in the country’s poorest rural and urban households to receive a steady income, achieve food security, and access to education services for their children.
For more information on the program please contact:
Muderis Abdulahi Mohammed, Senior Social Protection Specialist, World Bank (TZ) +255783766952
Zuhura. Mdungi, Communication specialist – Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)

UN Secretary-General’s remarks to ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development

18 April, 2016, New York: I am pleased to join the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in welcoming you to the inaugural session of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development. And I am particularly pleased to see many ministers, Finance and Development Ministers and the EU Commissioner and Heads of United Nations Agencies, who are taking part in this important forum.

2015 was a year of crucial milestones for development. In July, world leaders gathered in Addis Ababa and adopted a comprehensive framework to mobilize and deliver the resources, technology and partnerships needed for sustainable development.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, together with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris agreement on climate change, are triumphs of multilateralism. I look forward to the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement here in New York later this week.

These are historic agreements to eradicate poverty, build resilient societies, address climate change and put the world on a sustainable development path.

We have the collective responsibility to turn these landmark agreements into tangible actions.
The time for implementation is now.

Following-up on the Addis Agenda is the right starting point.
I am encouraged by your enthusiasm for the task at hand.

Excellencies,

The financing requirements to achieve the SDGs are estimated to be in the order of trillions of dollars annually. Mobilizing these resources will be a significant challenge, particularly at a time of continued economic uncertainty and financial constraints.

Since we met in Addis, risks and vulnerabilities have increased. Large numbers of refugees are on the move, and geopolitical tensions have escalated in some regions. Commodity prices are falling and capital flows are more volatile.

The global economic recovery remains uneven. We have not seen the strong, sustained and balanced growth needed to realize sustainable development for all.

Yet this challenge is not unsurmountable. We know that global public and private savings and investment will be sufficient – but only if they are aligned with sustainable development.

The Addis Agenda provides a full range of actions to realign financial flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.

It contains over 100 concrete policy commitments that draw upon all sources of finance, technology, innovation, trade, debt and data to support the 2030 Agenda.

We must sustain our political momentum and build on the unprecedented collaboration of recent years. The global response to the 2030 Agenda must match the scope of the challenge – which means tapping into the potential of all actors to achieve the large-scale transformation we need.

Excellencies,

Now is the time for smart investments in people and the planet, where they are needed, when they are needed and at the scale they are needed.

More than 2.4 billion people still lack clean water and sanitation; 57 million of the world’s children are not enrolled in school; and more than half the world’s population lacks any social security coverage.

We must follow through on the new ‘social compact’ enshrined in the Addis Agenda to provide social protection and essential public services for all.

Billions of lives depend on it.

Investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure are a prerequisite to achieve many of our global goals.

The new Global Infrastructure Forum, led by the multilateral development banks, which I attended last weekend in Washington D.C., is an important step towards bridging this gap.

But more needs to be done. We need to step up our efforts to implement the Addis Abba Action Agenda in it its entirety.

The private sector must be an active partner, in particular in areas such as the provision of urgently-needed social goods.

The growing importance of South-South cooperation must also to be recognized. This is now driving innovation and demonstrating its effectiveness in many developing countries.

The United Nations must be the forum where leadership and strategic collaboration among very different actors can transform our development model.

Developing countries hosting large numbers of refugees should have access to concessional loans – and I am glad to see progress on that front.

We also call for stronger commitment to humanitarian financing, which will be one focus of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit that I am convening in Istanbul on 23rd and 24th May.

But development aid plays a critical role in addressing the root causes of conflict. That is one reason why we make sure that efforts to increase the share of ODA to Least Developed Countries should continue.

Delivering on the new Paris Agreement will require countries to implement their national climate plans, as well as increase their ambitions over time. Achieving both of these goals requires a key item: finance.

I urge developed countries to meet the agreed goal of $100 billion per year by 2020 and the private sector to make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-emissions, climate-resilient development.

Excellencies,

Implementation will be the test of our commitment. The Addis Agenda provides the foundation for a renewed and strengthened global partnership for sustainable development.

I urge each and every one of you to take action and show leadership. We must all play our part in this global endeavour, from governments and international organisations, to financial and trade institutions, the private sector and civil society.

Accurate and comprehensive monitoring of actions at all levels will be crucial for success.

The Inter-Agency Task Force, which I convened at the end of 2015, will report annually on progress in implementing the financing for development outcomes and the 2030 Agenda.

I thank all UN agencies and other international organizations for their effective collaboration in putting together a comprehensive report under very tight time constraints.

I urge you to make good use of this Forum to usher in a new era of international cooperation on financing for sustainable development.

With a spirit of true partnership, shared responsibility and solidarity, we can transform our global vision into better lives and greater opportunities for people everywhere.

Thank you.

UN Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East

18 Aprilm 2016, New York: Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Council on the situation in the Middle East.

In just a few days, the Jewish people will celebrate one of Judaism’s most important holidays — Passover. I extend my best wishes to my Jewish friends and colleagues for a happy and peaceful holiday.

Allow me to begin with my visit to Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia three weeks ago with the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim.

Our trip sought to highlight the need to increase development assistance through innovative financing mechanisms for countries like Lebanon and Jordan that are disproportionately impacted by the conflict in Syria.

Last Friday, together with the Presidents of the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, I co-chaired a ministerial-level conference to garner the financial support for this initiative.

I am pleased to inform you that we had an encouraging response. Eight countries and the European Union generously pledged $1 billion for a concessional loan facility, $141 million in grants, and $500 million for a guarantee facility.

In addition, many other countries expressed support for this innovative initiative and their intention to provide financial support.

I hope donors will continue to respond to this effort to invest in peace and stability in this region.

For over six months, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been gripped by a surge in violence, triggered by individual terrorist attacks by Palestinians. Some 30 Israelis and two hundred Palestinians have been killed, with most of the Palestinians killed while reportedly carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

I condemn all such attacks unreservedly. There can never be any justification for stabbings, vehicle attacks, shootings, incitements to violence, or the glorification of killers.

I welcome the joint Palestinian-Israeli efforts that have contributed to a reduction of tensions in recent weeks. However, these latest killings have only deepened the divisiveness, hatred and grief.

I also welcome ongoing Israeli-Palestinian security discussions on Area A. I urge all sides to recognise the risks of failing to reach a lasting understanding on this pressing matter.

I acknowledge the recent public statements by President Abbas, rejecting violence and terror and firmly supporting continued security coordination with Israel.

President Abbas and I discussed the importance of these and other issues in Amman on 27 March. I encourage more such statements, backed by concrete actions.

Israelis and Palestinians need their leaders to elevate public discourse above mutual accusations, and to engage in a constructive dialogue that can rebuild the trust that has all but evaporated.

The Middle East Quartet is moving forward on a report that will review the situation on the ground, the threats to a two-state solution, and provide recommendations on how to advance peace.

The report is intended to help inform international discussions to advance the two-state solution: a sovereign and independent State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.

Tragically, this solution seems more distant than it has for many decades. A twenty-year-old Palestinian living under occupation has seen no political progress at all during his or her lifetime.

Impatience and despair at that fact is one of the root causes of the violence that blights Israeli and Palestinian communities, prevents economic development and growth, and denies the human potential of millions of people.

It is incumbent on all of us to do everything in our power to secure lasting peace.

Our collective efforts face dynamics in Israel and Palestine that call into question the willingness of the parties to overcome the hurdles to peace.

Israel continues to demolish Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank at an alarming rate. The total number of demolitions in 2015 was exceeded in early April this year. More than 840 people have been displaced.

Most of the structures concerned are deemed “illegal” by Israel, because they were built without permits. Yet Israel makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to acquire permits.

These acts raise concerns that Israel intends to implement over 11,000 outstanding demolition orders in Area C of the West Bank.

I am also concerned by the continued punitive demolitions of homes belonging to families of alleged Palestinian perpetrators of attacks against Israelis.

Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law. They are unproven as a deterrent; and they fuel tensions by exacerbating feelings of injustice and hatred.

Meanwhile, settlement plans and retroactive legalizations continue to advance in almost untraceable steps through the complicated planning process.

These steps, together with last month’s declaration of “state land” – the first in over 18 months – signal that Israel’s strategic settlement enterprise continues to expand on land intended for a future Palestinian state. I once again reiterate that settlements are illegal under international law and undermine the two-state solution.

The creation of new facts on the ground through demolitions and settlement building raises questions about whether Israel’s ultimate goal is, in fact, to drive Palestinians out of certain parts of the West Bank, thereby undermining any prospect of transition to a viable Palestinian state.

On the Palestinian political front, I regret the continued failure of intra-Palestinian discussions to achieve genuine unity on the basis of non-violence, democracy and the PLO principles.

I reiterate my call on Palestinian factions to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation, which is integral to reaching the goal of Palestinian statehood and to securing a just and lasting resolution of the conflict. It is imperative for all factions to ensure that both Gaza and the West Bank are returned to the control of a single, democratic and legitimate Palestinian authority.

I am extremely concerned by today’s announcement on the uncovering of a tunnel crossing from Gaza into Israel – the first such discovery since the 2014 Gaza conflict. I strongly condemn the construction of attack tunnels as dangerous and provocative moves that not only threaten the lives of Israelis and Palestinians, but also undermine efforts to rebuild Gaza. Further, three rockets were fired from Gaza on 14 April towards Israel, all of which landed short of Israel. No injuries were reported.

I call upon all parties to refrain from any actions that could lead to renewed conflict in Gaza.

The Palestinian Government has laid out an ambitious $3.8 billion agenda for stabilizing Gaza, repairing damage from the 2014 conflict, and getting a recovery underway.

Economic development and rebuilding critical electricity and water infrastructure are essential. On 8 April, the Gaza Power Plant shut down, meaning that residents of Gaza are now supplied with electricity for just four to six hours per day.

More than a year and a half after the conflict in Gaza, these conditions are intolerable. I strongly encourage all Member States to fulfil their commitments to support the reconstruction and development of Gaza.

More positively, on 3 April, Israel expanded the Gaza fishing zone from six miles to nine nautical miles. I welcome this development and encourage Israel to expedite further easing measures to support the long-suffering people of Gaza.

Turning briefly to Lebanon, I had the opportunity to address political and security issue with Lebanese leaders in Beirut on 24 and 25 March, consistent with the concerns of this Council.

These include:

The importance of preserving Lebanon’s model of pluralism and coexistence from regional tensions;
The urgency of electing a President without further delay;

The need for all parties to work with Prime Minister Tammam Salam to enable the Government to function effectively and to continue to engage in political dialogue;

The importance of sustained international support for the Lebanese Armed Forces;
And the expectation that both Lebanon and Israel work to consolidate stability along the Blue Line and advance the implementation of resolution 1701.

I also discussed the importance of actively supporting the work of UNRWA, particularly in light of the recent build-up of tensions in Palestinian camps, including a car bomb on 12 April which killed a camp official near Ein el Hilweh.

Turning to the Golan, I note the statements made yesterday by Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. This is a longstanding issue that all parties have a responsibility to help resolve. I remind Israel of its obligation to implement Security Council Resolutions 242 and 497 in all of their parts.

The path out of the current political deadlock requires commitment, compromise, mutual respect and leadership on both sides.

It also requires the acceptance – demonstrated by deeds as well as words – that the two-state solution is the only road to peace that meets the national aspirations of both peoples:

Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition.

Thank you.

Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries

16 April, 2016, Washington D.C: Five years ago, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries adopted the Istanbul Declaration and the Istanbul Programme of Action.

The upcoming midterm review offers the opportunity to assess progress and forge the path forward.

This year will also see the 18th replenishment of the International Development Association, as well as the start of the United Nations Decade for Action on Nutrition. And, of course, this is the first year of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

These events provide crucial opportunities to intensify our work on LDC priorities – including sustainable and inclusive economic growth, social protection and a healthy environment.

LDCs – including Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States — are disproportionately affected by environmental challenges, health emergencies, natural disasters, poverty and hunger, and youth unemployment.

But LDCs also represent enormous reservoirs of untapped potential.

Meeting the targets of the Istanbul Programme of Action will require intensified and innovative cooperation.

Agenda 2030 calls for a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development. SDG 2 promises to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 — which is crucial and connected to meeting all of our shared goals.

The Addis Ababa Action Accord addresses a full spectrum of issues, including resources, enabling environments, and systemic challenges.

It captures the concerns of LDCs, and provides a comprehensive package for them.

In this context, the replenishment of IDA 18 is a crucial moment.

It is important to ensure that the IDA’s allocation reflects LDC priorities such as infrastructure investment as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation.

It is equally crucial that IDA’s modality takes into account more favorable criteria to enable easier access to its resources by the most vulnerable countries.

I count on LDCs to play a constructive role in making both the IDA 18 negotiations and the UN Decade for Action on Nutrition successful.

I also salute the LDCs pivotal role in the success of the Paris Climate Accord—so crucial to the future of your countries and our one and only planet.

Excellencies,

At the end of May, leaders will gather in Antalya, Turkey for the high-level mid-term review of the Istanbul Programme of Action. This provides an opportunity to make further progress towards the graduation of LDCs.

As we embark on our shared journey, the voice of LDCs must be heard in all global decision-making and norm setting processes.

I look forward to continuing our cooperation to achieve these goals and secure a future of prosperity for your people and our world.
Thank you.

UN Secretary General remarks to the 93rd meeting of the deveopment committee

16 April,2016, Washington: I am deeply honoured to once again have the opportunity to address the Development Committee. Last year, we focused together on the importance of ensuring the successful passage of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thanks in large measure to your support, world leaders adopted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and the 2030 Agenda — with seventeen integrated and comprehensive Sustainable Development Goals.

Your continued support and engagement will be crucial to ensuring the successful implementation of this game-changing agenda.

We join forces today to discuss an issue that is integral to that success – addressing the global challenge of forced displacement.

As you know, the number of forcibly displaced people around the globe has reached epic proportions, with over 60 million people forced to flee their homes due to conflict and violence.

The ongoing refugee crisis and migration challenges are straining the European continent. We are seeing serious challenges to the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement, with a number of human rights concerns being voiced.

Xenophobia is on the rise, and governments are scrambling to find a response in line with international and EU law.

When it comes to managing large movements of migrants and refugees, there is much room for improvement in international cooperation not only in Europe, but globally.

We saw this in the Andaman Sea last spring, when thousands of migrants and refugees were pushed back from territorial waters in unsafe boats.

We are seeing it in Central America, where thousands of women and children are on the run from the armed gangs and generalised violence.

The chaos in Libya and Yemen is similarly causing thousands of people to run for their lives.

Food insecurity, conflict, climate change, lack of opportunities and governance failures are also contributing to large migration flows across the African continent, including the Horn of Africa.

Member states are struggling for solutions.

The unfortunate responses are often shutting borders, detaining asylum seekers and migrants, pushbacks and refoulement.

Supporting States in addressing large movements of refugees and migrants is an issue ripe for more concerted multilateral action. We must strengthen international cooperation mechanisms, and boost our collective work.

It is for this reason that I have worked with the membership of the United Nations to have the United Nations General Assembly call a leader’s Summit on 19 September to move forward on this issue.

Next month, we will also convene the World Humanitarian Summit, which will feature both a high-level round table on forced displacement, and a special session on migration.

At the same time, we must boldly move to implement the SDGs, which will address many of the root causes of these large movements, build resilience, and promote well-managed migration policies. The 2030 Agenda will also strengthen the capacity of host States to integrate large numbers of refugees and migrants.

Let me quickly point to six areas for immediate action.
First, we need to counter xenophobic narratives, and ensure that the positive contributions that refugees and migrants make to our societies are acknowledged and understood.

Second, we must share responsibilities more equitably, more predictably, and more transparently.

Third, we must better support countries that are hosting large numbers of refugees, including through your excellent new initiative of offering concessional loans to middle-income countries hosting large refugee populations.

Fourth, we must create safe, orderly and regular pathways for refugees and others migrants in need.

Fifth, our fight against traffickers and smugglers must yield better results, and we must support States in enhancing their cooperation in this area.

And sixth, we must avoid diverting resources from long-term development, and make sure that development and humanitarian financing work hand-in-hand. This will ensure a sustainable response from day one, freeing more resources in the long-term for supporting least developed countries, as pledged in the Addis Agenda.

Excellencies,

Our shared challenge and obligation is to address mass population movements while maintaining our commitment to sustainable development.

Let me repeat: implementing the 2030 Agenda in all its aspects will help to address the root causes of displacement and prevent mass population movements from occurring in the first place.

These are extraordinary times. Never before has the issue of forced displacement ranked so high on the international agenda.

I count on this important committee to develop fresh approaches and to take bold steps in addressing these challenges.

Thank you.

UN Secretary-General’s message on World Health Day

07 April, 2016: New York: Today is World Health Day. Below is the UN Secretary General’s message to mark the day;
“Diabetes is an ancient disease that is taking a growing toll on the modern world. In 1980, 108 million adults were living with diabetes. By 2014, that number had risen to 422 million – 8.5 per cent of adults — reflecting a global increase in risk factors such as being overweight or obese. Even though we have the tools to prevent and treat it, diabetes now causes some 1.5 million deaths a year. High blood glucose causes an additional 2.2 million deaths.

This year, the World Health Organization has issued its first Global Report on Diabetes, outlining the scale of the problem and suggesting ways to reverse current trends. The burden of diabetes is not equally shared, within or between countries. People in low- and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected, but wherever we find poverty we also find disease and premature deaths.

Diabetes affects countries’ health systems and economies, through increased medical costs and lost wages. In 2011, world leaders agreed that non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, represent a major challenge to achieving sustainable development. Last year, Governments adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which include the target of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one-third.

We can limit the spread and impact of diabetes by promoting and adopting healthier lifestyles, especially among young people. This includes eating better and being physically active. We must also improve diabetes diagnosis and access to essential medicines such as insulin. Governments, health-care providers, people with diabetes, civil society, food producers and manufacturers and suppliers of medicines and technology must all contribute to changing the status quo.

On this World Health Day, let us all commit to working together to halt the rise in diabetes and improve the lives of those living with this dangerous but preventable and treatable disease.

UN Secretary-General’s remarks upon receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Loyola Marymount University

LOS ANGELES, 06 April,2016: Thank you so much for your warm welcome.

It is a pleasure to be here at Loyola Marymount University. I would like to express my great appreciation for this honorary degree. I know you are recognizing not just me, but also the United Nations. Thank you for this vote of support for our efforts to advance peace, development and human rights across the world.

I thank my good friend Professor Tom Plate for his kind introduction. My connection with LMU starts with him.

Our friendship goes back decades. He was a long-time journalist, specializing in East Asia. I was a senior official in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and eventually became Foreign Minister. Professor Plate and I came to know each other, and talked often about Asian affairs. When I became Secretary-General, our talks turned to global issues.

It was early in my tenure that he told me about Loyola Marymount University — a wonderful community, he said, that is strongly committed to the ideals of the United Nations. “You must visit”, he said. Since there is nothing I like as much as spending time with young people, here I am!

You may recall that I greeted the Loyola community by video last October when Professor Snyder was inaugurated as your President. I am glad now to have this opportunity to congratulate him in person. I especially welcome this chance to share a few thoughts about this moment in world affairs — and how Loyola can continue helping the world to meet the tests of our time.

Loyola Marymount’s spirit of civic engagement is visible in so many ways.

The long-standing De Colores programme evolved from constructing houses in Mexico to a partnership where you learn from and support each other. You have gone from building homes to building bridges between people. This is just what we need at a time when extremist groups and too many politicians strive to divide.

I commend the LMU alumna who founded the Press Institute for Women in the Developing World, which is offering training in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Rwanda and elsewhere

Professor Jok Madut Jok has been doing admirable work to advance education in South Sudan.

I welcome Loyola’s newly established World Policy Institute. Professor Plate’s Asian Media Centre is another important forum.

And you have taken an important stand for human rights by joining other Jesuit colleges and universities in speaking out against racial inequality.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

President Snyder spoke at the inauguration ceremony about the importance of “global imagination” in illuminating pathways into our future.

My own global imagination was profoundly influenced by the Organization I now serve and lead.

You could say I am a child of the United Nations.

During the Korean War, when my family had no food, the United Nations fed us. When our schools were burned down, the United Nations gave us books. When our economy collapsed, the United Nations mobilized support. The troops of many nations defended us while serving under the UN blue flag.

Now, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I strive daily to do for others what the United Nations did for me.

Over the past ten years, I have sought to empower the world’s women, defend human rights, strengthen peace operations, promote social justice, and modernize the United Nations itself.

We now have an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is our 15-year plan to end global poverty, fight inequality, promote the rule of law and build peaceful societies.

The new Paris Agreement on climate change is our potential peace pact with the planet.

These agreements open exciting new horizons.

Yet our hopes are threatened by armed conflict, terrorism, extremism and brutal acts that defy all norms of humanity. More people have fled their homes than at any time since the Second World War. Humanitarian needs are reaching new heights — but life-saving relief efforts are struggling for funds while vast sums are being squandered on weapons of war.

That is why we are bringing all countries together at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit on May 23rd and 24th in Istanbul. We need to do more to help suffering people now – and prevent emergencies in the future.

The nightmare in Syria has just entered its sixth year.

The United Nations is leading diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, and those talks are showing the first signs of hope in years. A cessation of hostilities has held for more than a month. UN-led negotiations resume later this week in Geneva.

The United Nations and our partners are managing to finally get some humanitarian supplies through, but there are still people in besieged areas who have not received aid in months or even years.

I am very moved by your decision, taken just days ago, to help Syrian students and scholars who have been torn from their homes and schools.

Syrian refugees want to go home, but cannot. I have been pressing all countries to resettle Syrians and refugees of so many other nationalities who have a right to asylum. Yet too many countries are erecting barriers or not doing their fair share. This hurts refugees and the host communities themselves, which are missing out on potentially enormous contributions. With a little support, refugees will become doctors and caregivers, workers and entrepreneurs, bright students and researchers who advance human progress for all.

I thank you for recognizing that these refugees are an asset to your community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me say a special word to the young people here today:

You are part of the largest generation of young people the world has ever known. You are also part of one of the most important ways that the United Nations has changed to keep up with the times: we are focusing on the power of young people as never before.

When I look around this room, I see more than leaders of the future – I see leaders for today.

Too often, youth are regarded as problems or easy prey for terrorists. But where some see trouble, I see an underutilized powerhouse for human progress.

That is why I appointed the first-ever UN Youth Envoy, and why the UN system recently launched a youth employment initiative. Last December, the Security Council adopted a landmark resolution that aims to bring youth to the table as peacebuilders — where they belong but have been long absent.

Young people today have wide-ranging opportunities to contribute, to link up with like-minded peers, and to pursue their dreams.

Whatever path you choose, the world needs you to show allegiance not just to your immediate family, community, or nation, but to the wider global community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

LMU is a place to learn, to question and to challenge. Universities need to be places where we can listen to each other, and each other’s ideas, in peace.

This hilltop campus gives you a beautiful view of the Pacific ocean.

But I know you also look within, in keeping with the Jesuit nature of this school.

I saw that character up close last September, when His Holiness Pope Francis visited the United Nations. I recall his moving words on that occasion. “The full meaning of individual and collective life”, he said, “is found in selfless service to others and in the sage and respectful use of creation for the common good”.

I look forward to the contributions you will make as global citizens and — if you make the choice I made decades ago — as public servants.

Let us reach out to the vulnerable and the excluded. Let us fulfill our duty to leave no one behind — and to reach the farthest behind, first.

Together, we can usher in an era of dignity for all.

Thank you.

UN Secretary General message on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide

07 April,2016: Today, the world marks 22 years since the genocide in Rwanda. Below is the UN Secretary general, Ban Ki-moon message for the day: “In 1994, more than 800,000 people were systematically murdered throughout Rwanda. The vast majority were Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and others were also targeted. On this Day, we remember all who perished in the genocide and renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever being repeated, anywhere in the world.

We should all be inspired by the survivors’ courage in showing that reconciliation is possible even after such a tragedy. With the Great Lakes region still facing serious threats to peace and security, healing and reconstruction remain essential.

Honouring the victims of the genocide in Rwanda also means working for justice and accountability. I commend United Nations Member States in the region and beyond for their continued efforts to arrest and hand over remaining fugitives and end impunity. The best way to ensure that genocide and other egregious violations of human rights and international law can never occur again is to acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to shared action to protect those at risk.

Genocide is not a single event. It is a process that takes time and preparation. History has repeatedly demonstrated that no part of the world is immune. One of the key warning signs is the spread of hate speech in public discourse and the media that targets particular communities.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Fighting Genocide Ideology”. It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence. We must promote inclusion, dialogue and the rule of law to establish peaceful and just societies.

The history of Rwanda teaches us an essential lesson. While the capacity for the deepest evil resides in all societies, so too do the qualities of understanding, generosity and reconciliation. Let us nurture these hallmarks of our common humanity to help build a life of dignity and security for all.

Dar commemorates International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and The Transatlantic Slave Trade

DAR ES SALAAM, 30 MARCH 2016: Today, UNIC Dar es Salaam organized a learning session at Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy, Kigamboni to commemorate International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and The Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The event was coloured by a film screening of a video entitled “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”. An inspirational story of a woman named Queen Nanny, from a Maroon tribe in Jamaica who lead his people to a decisive victory over the mighty British army in the early 18th Century.
Thereafter there was a presentation on impact of Slavery and Transatlantic slave trade focusing on how slaves maintained their culture and traditions even in the foreign land.
In their discussions, students reminded each other on the role they have to maintain their culture and traditions and caution on the increase influence of western culture in our communities.
On his part, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon gave below statement at the General Assembly commemorative meeting to mark the day; “Each year, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade provides an opportunity to remember and reflect on one of the most appalling injustices in human history.

On this day, we honour the memory of millions of Africans forcibly removed from their families, villages and homelands over hundreds of years.This important Day also directs a spotlight on racism, sadly still prevailing in today’s societies.

It is seen in untold acts of violence, discrimination, bias and prejudice all over the world. And it is shamefully represented by the millions of people still living in situations of servitude and slavery worldwide.

Forced labour, bonded labour, child labour, human trafficking and forced prostitution are serious human rights violations rooted in a glaring lack of respect and regard for fellow human beings. They are an affront to the UN Charter and its reaffirmation in “the dignity and worth of human person”.

Just as we reject the vile human commerce embodied by the Transatlantic Slave Trade, so must we reject and pursue the struggle against all forms of contemporary slavery.

Our battle cry must be “a life of dignity for all – enough is enough”.This year, we celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the African diaspora. We remember their roots, their traditions and their impact on the life of societies involved in the slave trade. Africans brought to the New World the great diversity of their homeland cultures.

As they forged new lives with one another, as well as with other population groups, the rich varieties of diaspora culture took root and developed.In this process, persistent efforts to strip Africans of their identity and culture failed. Instead, their vibrant and strong heritage endured and spread.We see Africa’s legacy in the bold art, vibrant music and inspiring literature that infuse modern culture all over the world.

And we very much see it in the contributions that the people of the African diaspora have made – and continue to make — in medicine and science as well as in government and leadership in society as a whole.

The trials and triumphs of the African diaspora also remind us of enduring qualities of human character — fortitude, courage, strength, tolerance, resilience, passion and compassion.

Remember, nothing happens in life without passion and the wrong things happen without compassion. Passion and compassion is what we need to be reminded of in our constant struggles to improve conditions around the world.

Last year, the UN launched the International Decade of People of African Descent.

Much of the discrimination and marginalization of today can be traced to the slave trade.

That is why the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme is reaching out to young and old alike to create awareness, promote understanding and change attitudes.

On this Day, I ask all Member States, and civil society, to commit to make sure that all people of African descent enjoy equal access to education, employment, health care, development and other vital opportunities.

It is long overdue for us to break the chains that have denied so many equality and the protection of their human rights under the law and in practice.

Outside this building, in the Visitors Plaza, there is an iconic Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I want to thank those who made it happen. I particularly commend Ambassador Rattray of Jamaica for his untiring leadership and efforts.

The Ark of Return, as it is called, is a poignant reminder of the indignity and suffering of millions of men, women and children, victims of slavery.

I urge everyone here today, and every visitor to the United Nations, and everyone who watches this webcast. to stand in front of it and reflect on the capacity for both inhumanity and humanity that resides within us.

I ask that we repeat to ourselves — and to others – the words from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that we all pledged to defend in 1948 and which is equally valid, important and relevant today and we need to make those words real:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

“No one shall be held in slavery or servitude…”.

Let us take these words, and all other the commitments inherent in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Charter, as our guide for now and tomorrow so that we may bequeath a more fair and just world to future generations.

Thank you.” END

Greater investment in breastfeeding could support economic development and save children’s lives in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 29 February 2016 – A new series of papers published by The Lancet provides evidence that improving breastfeeding practices could save the lives of over 820,000 children a year globally and US$300 billion annually.

“Over the years there has been progress in reducing child deaths and undernutrition in Tanzania. Still 270 children under five die every day and nearly 40 per cent of them die within the first month of life. Of the children who survive, one in three children are stunted because of chronic undernutrition. These children are losing out on their life chances. Poor nutritional status affects a child’s learning ability and also his or her earning potential as an adult. But there are known interventions that can make a huge difference and promotion of breastfeeding is a critical one,” said UNICEF’s Representative in Tanzania, Mrs. Maniza Zaman, during a briefing with media in Dar es Salaam. “The Lancet Series provides compelling evidence on the wide-ranging benefits of breastfeeding. Investments in protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding could save children’s lives in Tanzania and, in the long run, support economic growth.”

The Lancet papers show that there are many health benefits to breastfeeding. Increased breastfeeding can prevent nearly half of diarrhea episodes and a third of respiratory infections – the two leading causes of death among children under age five. Breastfed children typically need fewer hospital visits or prescriptions, have a lower risk of infections and diseases, are less likely to be overweight and less prone to diabetes later in life.

There are key health benefits for the mother too. Each year a mother breastfeeds, her risk of developing invasive breast cancer is reduced by 6 per cent. Current breastfeeding rates already prevent almost 20,000 deaths from breast cancer each year globally – this number can be higher with improved breastfeeding practices. Longer breastfeeding is also linked to a reduction in ovarian cancer.

Increasing breastfeeding rates has economic returns. Children who are breastfed do better in intelligence tests. Globally, the consequences and costs of lower cognitive ability associated with not breastfeeding amount to about US$300 billion annually. Low-and middle-income countries lose more than US$70 billion annually. High-income countries lose more than US$230 billion annually.

In Tanzania, 42 percent of children are exclusively breastfed for the recommended six months and only half the newborns are put to the breast within one hour of birth when newborns can most benefit from the immune factors in breast milk. While continued breastfeeding till 24 months and beyond, together with feeding the child other appropriate foods, provides the optimal nutrition for the growing child, about half of the children between 20-23 months are no longer breastfed. This means that many children are growing up poorly nourished.

However there are regions in the country which show very encouraging trends. For example, 75 per cent of children are breastfed within the first hour after birth in Kilimanjaro, Tanga and Iringa regions. More than half of children aged between 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed in Iringa, Kigoma, Morogoro, Singida, Katavi and Geita regions, with the highest prevalence in Kagera (70 per cent).

To make a nationwide effort to improve breast-feeding practices, common obstacles faced by
women worldwide need to also be tackled in Tanzania:
– Gaps in knowledge among healthcare providers that leave women without access to accurate information or support;
– Lack of strong support systems among family and community, as well as cultural traditions unsupportive of breastfeeding; and
– Limited or nonexistent maternity leave. Short maternity leave may increase the odds of not breastfeeding or stopping early.

An additional factor is the improper marketing of breastmilk substitutes (including infant formula) by their manufacturers and distributors which undermines breastfeeding as the best practice in early life. In Tanzania, the Code of Marketing on Breastmilk Substitutes is in place – strengthened monitoring and enforcement of the Code is crucial. Working women need to be supported through adequate maternity protection legislation. For women in the informal sector, family and community support systems, better working conditions and labour-saving interventions are needed to free up women’s time and energy for optimal breast-feeding practices.

“Breastfeeding is the most natural, cost effective, environmentally sound and readily available way we know to provide all children, rich or poor, with the healthiest start in life,” concluded Mrs. Zaman “The science is clear – lets come together to support many more women and families in Tanzania provide this best start to life for their children”.