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T. Pinda: Address to World Summit 2014

Address to World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014

I am greatly humbled and honored for the invitation extended to me to address this august assembly. It would be remiss if I will not extend my warmest gratitude to the government and the people of the Republic of South Korea for the cordial hospitality accorded to me and my entire delegation since our arrival in this Digital City of Seoul.

I am also delighted for the choice of the theme of this world summit, which is on peace, security and development. The choice of this theme would not have been more appropriate and timely than today, when most parts of the world are experiencing conflicts and extreme poverty.

Let me begin by pointing out that development has a direct correlation with peace and security. It is my humble opinion that there is no development without peace and security, and there is no peace and security without development. The extreme poverty and underdevelopment experienced in most parts of the world are the result of lack of peace and security. Peace, security and development are therefore interrelated and interdependent. Extreme poverty and underdevelopment also give birth to insecurity and undermine peace. This is justified by the increase of extremist groups, terrorism, piracy and the abuse of drugs worldwide.

Despite the importance of peace and security to socio-economic development, the general peace and security situation remains fragile worldwide. Conflicts have taken roots in almost the entire world.

It is unfortunate, however, that the challenge of peace and security is more acute in Africa than in any other region in the world. In the last few decades, the continent has witnessed more than 20 conflicts, characterizing the continent as a war-prone area.

As we gather here today, conflicts in Africa continue to claim the lives of innocent people in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Libya, Darfur and South Sudan, just to mention a few.

Conflicts have devastating effects on human life and society at large. They destroy the economic and social development gains that have been registered over a long period of time. Poverty reduction is made difficult or impossible, and human rights are violated.

Recent statistics show that more than six million people have died in Africa in the last decade because of conflicts. In addition, there are an estimated 35 million refugees in the world. Approximately 70 percent of the world refugee population is in Africa and the Middle East. Tanzania has ample experience to share on refugee influx, given the number of refugees we have hosted and continue to host today. The effects and challenges of refugee influx are enormous to the receiving countries.

Similar to this is the problem of internally displaced persons. Some 5.4 million are displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia and Sudan. It is sad and disappointing that the most affected groups in society are those of women, children, elderly and people with disabilities. We must all raise our voices to defend and protect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society.

These challenges of peace and security are enormous, and no country can address them all alone. It is therefore imperative that the international community work together to effectively deal with the challenge of peace and security globally.

I am glad to note that efforts are being made by the international community to address the challenges of peace and security in Africa; for instance, the African Union, in collaboration with its member states as well as other partners, has deployed concerted efforts to address the challenges of peace and security in Africa.

As a result of the commitment and concerted efforts deployed by the African Union, the peace and security situation in Africa has evolved positively over the last decade. Many of the civil wars have been ended in Africa, whereas others may be described as latent peace. The continent witnessed processes toward reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction in Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, and now in Mali and Somalia.

Consequently, the continent has started to enjoy peace dividends. Indeed, over the last decade economic growth in Africa has been unprecedented, with six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world in the last decade. Foreign direct investment is also rising rapidly and is projected to reach $150 billion by 2015. Furthermore, the economic situation for the coming decade is truly excellent, with economies in sub-Saharan Africa expected to grow at the critical rate of seven percent. These developments follow years of hard work, especially in addressing the challenges of peace and security on the continent.

I wish to conclude my keynote address by re-stating that peace, security and development are interdependent and interrelated. I therefore appeal to the global community to join hands in addressing security challenges for socio-economic development.

As a woman, I am committed to peace and security for sustainable development. Therefore, as women worldwide, we need peace and security, and not wars and conflicts. Wars and conflicts bring social unrest to families and death to human beings. I call upon the international community to bring peace and security in the world.

As you are aware, Tanzania has been in the forefront of peace, security and development guided by the principles of living of the sake of others, mutual consensus, love and protection of human welfare. We are here to cooperate with the Universal Peace Federation Ambassadors for Peace. Therefore, we are committed to work together to build a culture of harmony and peace.

Let me conclude by reiterating that Tanzanians will continue our commitment to peace, security and development. As brothers and sisters, as mothers and fathers, as youth, we all have a role to play. We all have the duty and responsibility to make this world a better place to live. We should maintain the sanctity of humanity before our ambitions and desires. Our people need peace and security for their development, and we are all here to ensure that this commitment is achieved.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.