SARPCCO Women's Training Conference - Remarks by Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez Resident Coordinator, United Nations Tanzania

 Opening Ceremony of Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO) Women’s Training Conference

Remarks by Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez

Resident Coordinator, United Nations Tanzania

17 May 2017

 

 

·       Your Excellency, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan;

·      Honorable Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Mwigulu Nchemba

·      Distinguished Inspector General of the Tanzania Police Force, Ernest Mangu

·      Distinguished Government officials from Tanzania and the region;

·      Police women and men from Tanzania and the region;

·      Dear UN Colleagues;

·      Invited guests;

·      Members of the media;

·      Ladies and gentlemen;

 

Asalam Alekhum, Habari za Asubuhi, na Bwana Asifiwe.

Kwa niaba ya Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa Tanzania, ninapenda kuchukua fursa hii, kuishukuru na kuipongeza serikali ya Jam-huri ya Muungano wa Tanzania, kwa kuandaa mafunzo haya muhimu kwa Polisi. Hongereni Sana!

Nichukue fursa hii kuwapongeza na kuwatakia kila la kheri washiriki wote wa mafunzo haya.

 

On behalf of the United Nations family in Tanzania, I would like to congratulate the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Tanzania Police Force, in coordinating and organizing the second Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization Women’s Training Conference in Dar es Salaam. We are honored to be part of this prestigious event, which brings together women police officers from the across the region, and provides them the space to share their progress in promoting gender equality, especially on handling of cases of Violence against Women and Children.

 

We are all aware that Violence Against Women and Children is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world; one of the least prosecuted crimes; and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and sustainable development. If left unaddressed, these human rights violations pose serious consequences for current and future generations and our efforts to ensure peace and security, to reduce poverty and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we have committed to.

 

For the United Nations, this is a matter of great urgency and needs to be addressed by all regional stakeholders – especially by the police officers that are on the frontlines of this issue.

 

We hope that through our joint efforts we will be able to highlight the fact violence against women and children is a public concern that affects all segments of society, and that we need to work together to support the efforts of the Police to prevent and respond to such cases. Through this two-day training, we hope that regional actors can network and shared experiences on how to prevent and address this violence and how to ensure the rights of survivors are respected.

 

UN Agencies such as UN Women, UNICEF and UNFPA but now UNDP have been working with Tanzanian Police to provide services to survivors of violence against women and children. A special focus has been on police response to safeguarding victims rights. The UN has been supporting the establishment of over 30 Police Gender and Children Desks in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar to ensure that women and children have a safe and secure environment to report their cases, but also have access to legal and counselling services.Training courses, manuals and curricula on Gender-Based Violence and Sextortion have also been provided to the Department of Police Training Academy to ensure that all upcoming recruited police officers have the same basic skills and knowledge to support survivors of violence and sextortion.

 

When it comes to the prosecution of offenders, we know that ending impunity means that laws must be enforced. According to the Tanzania Demographic Health Survey of 2015, the percentage of women survivors reporting cases of violence increased from 3 percent in 2010, to 9 percent in 2015, indicating that the more women are seeking help at police stations. However, we must do more to ensure that all women, girls and children live a life free from all forms of violence.

 

Women and children must have access to the police to file a criminal report and receive legal advice and protection orders. Courts and the justice system must be accessible and responsive to criminal and civil matters relating to violence against women and children.

 

And for this, we need more women police officers, and enhance their capacity to perform, because we know that women serving on the frontlines prioritize and strengthen justice for women and children.

 

The UN will continue to support the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, and through it the Tanzania Police Force, in providing support and services at regional and national level, in line with international commitments, such as the convention on ending discrimination against women and resolutions of the Commission on the Status of Women, to support the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Now I would like to close my remarks with an important Swahili saying: “We should do things on a timely basis when we have time; sometimes time will come to do things, and then we will not have the time, the time is now.”

Kwahio Ndugu zangu, nimalizie kwa kusema,

Tufanye ya Wakati, wakati tuna Wakati; utakuja Wakati, tutataka kufanya ya Wakati, wakati hatuna Wakati; Wakati ni huu.

I wish you all the best for this training.

Asanteni sana na khila la kheri.