Remarks by UN Resident Coordinator on UN Day Reception on 26 October 2017
Your Excellency, the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Honourable Chief Secretary,
Honourable Principal Secretaries and Deputy PSs,
My UN Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the United Nations Country Team, I would like to thank Your Excellency, Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein, for joining us to grace the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Maendeleo ya Viwanda na Utunzaji Mazingira kwa Maendeleo Endelevu”
I would like to commend the leadership of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar for availing a positive environment for the UN agencies to implement development programmes in Zanzibar in collaboration with Zanzibar government partners, media and civil society.
I would also like to thank you for your direct personal engagement with UN global heads of agency and with the UN heads of agency in the United Republic of Tanzania. This gesture strengthens our partnership and enables us to learn directly from you the priorities of Zanzibar.
The continued positive collaboration between the UN Country team and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar will ultimately contribute to the achievement of Zanzibar Economic and Social transformation ambition as stipulated in the MKUZA III and UNDAP II, therefore moving in a right direction to realize the Zanzibar Vision 2020 in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.
From the last UN Day celebration to date, the UN Country Team together with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and partners have registered notable results in the areas of Inclusive Growth, Healthy Nation, Democratic Governance, Human Rights and Gender Equality and Resilience.
To note some of the achievements:
o The Zanzibar Social Protection Policy and its Implementation Plan has been developed and approved by the Revolutionary Cabinet;
o Support for Legal sector reform resulted in the development of legislative frameworks, policies and operational tools as well as enhanced capacities of more than 125 legal practitioners (66 male and 59 female), guaranteeing a more transparent and human rights based approach to proceedings in criminal matters.
o The child justice system is also strengthened, including provision of legal aid to 230 children in conflict with the law;
o There has been a notable increase on access and coverage of quality and effective Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and nutrition services among women and children under five, with the refurbishment and equipment of 6 Primary Health Care Units plus and provision of capacity building, equipment and essential commodities benefitting the national health system.
o Over 12,000 pregnant women and 85, 000 children under 5 were reached with information, counselling and referral through the action of community health volunteers.
o Support has been provided for the preparedness, response and mitigation of the cholera outbreaks resulting in a reduced number of cholera cases from 4,330 in 2015/16 to 436 in 2016/17; and a reduction in the number of deaths from 68 in 2015/16 to 4 in 2016/17.
I also wish to recognize the productive meeting recently held with the Inter Ministerial Technical Committee whereby the United Nations Country team reiterated its commitment to accelerate development results by introducing Zanzibar Joint Programme focusing on:Improving Seaweed production and marketing; Support to reduce Maternal and New-born deaths in Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Unguja and Chakechake hospital in Pemba; capacity building for SDGs Coordination and Reporting; and support to eliminate Violence against Women and Children. Together we have recognized that to achieve the envisaged development results local capacities should be strengthened and sustained especially in the areas of data use, Result-Based Management, and accountability.
Reflecting on UN global processes, I would like to update you on the ongoing UN reform process which might affect the way the UN is working at the country level in the near future. The UN Secretary General has presented to the UN General Assembly a set of proposals which will make the UN Development System serve and deliver better in the context of the 2030 Agenda and to promote human rights of all. These changes, when implemented, would significantly enhance the system’s effectiveness, cohesion, leadership and accountability. Consultations at different levels are going on, and the UN country team will report back to you when appropriate.
The UN Secretary General’s proposal among other issues includes accelerating transition from MDGs to SDGs. This means the UN Development System will need to step-up its capacities to support governments in leveraging partnerships including partnerships with private sector, development financing, data and policy integration to localize the SDGs.
This morning we started the commemoration of the UN Day in Zanzibar by working with community members to clean the environment at: Mtopepo Primary School, Msikiti Madole and Uholanzi area along Mkapa Road, all in Mtopepo Shehia, West A district. The identified area is prone to cholera outbreaks, so in collaboration with other partners, we raised community members awareness on the importance of cleaning the environment daily to prevent cholera and other related diseases.
Let me take this opportunity, to assure you that the UN Country Team is committed to partner with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to address priority development challenges, including enhancing institutional capacities of both the public sector and Non-State Actors to achieve development results as stipulated in the national development strategies, including MKUZA III and the Zanzibar National Vision 2020.
We remain always as trusted partners: count on us.