New York — President Jakaya Kikwete has challenged national leaders world over to take advantage of prevailing social, economic and scientific innovations to build a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and deprivation.
Addressing the UN General Assembly here on Friday evening, President Kikwete said a desirable world to be built should also be the one that protects its environment and nature.
He told the gathering that it was possible to have a world without wars, conflicts and acts of terrorism...a world where human rights were respected, rule of law observed, democracy reigned and the civil society was regarded as an integral part of the development endeavour.
"Despite many challenges, the world was passing through time of great opportunity. With stronger multilateralism and the United Nations leading the way and with strong political will on the part of national leaders and the people, everything is possible.
We can make our world a better place for everyone to live," he said. He paid glowing tribute to the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban ki-Moon for the excellent work he is doing for the UN and humanity at large.
He also commended the choice of this year's General assembly's theme - Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the stage, which he said was timely and very opportune.
"It affords us the opportunity here with regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and decide what needs to be done to complete the unfinished business and enable us to make informed decision beyond 2015," he said.
Mr Kikwete said it was heartwarming to note that progress towards attaining MDGs was recorded in the last 13 years. However, he noted that the progress was highly uneven among nations and continents and varied from one goal to another.
He gave an example of extreme poverty that has been halved at global level, where 1.2 billion people were still trapped there with about 19,000 children under the age of five and around 800 women die every day mostly from preventable and curable diseases and other causes.
The president said it was totally unacceptable in today's world of plenty, where there was unprecedented advancement in science and technology which could be leveraged to solve all development challenges facing humanity.
"In a world which has enough food to feed everybody, no one should go hungry or be undernourished. In a world with so much wealth there is no reason why poverty, hunger and deprivation should ever continue to inflict pain and cause misery to many people.
It is incomprehensible, therefore, why the MDGs could not be attained to the fullest," he said. He advised that the reality must be taken into account when countries were attempting to tackle unfinished business of the 2000 Msgs and design the post 2015 development agenda.
Furthermore, he underscored the need for a mechanism that will ensure sources of financing will be adequate and reliable. The president said Tanzania made significant progress in implementing MDGs, achieving the targets in four (MDG 2, 3, 4 and 6) of the eight goals well before the 2015 deadline.
He, however, said the government had not relented in the pursuit of the targets of the MDGs which are unlikely to be achievable in 2015.
"This will be the unfinished business for which we need o take action probably over and above of what we are doing," he said, adding that Tanzania has started taking concrete measures to redress the situation.
Mr Kikwete said despite a number of challenges, MDGs had been nothing short of remarkable success and that if developed countries provided the finances envisaged under MDG8, each country would have implemented all the MGDs to the letter and spirit.
"It is in this regard that we find unrealistic any approach to the post-2015 development agenda does not address the critical issue of ensuring adequate financing. This is also true with regard to accelerating implementation of the MGDs in the remaining period," he said.