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SPEECH BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS, HON. ENG. HAMAD MASAUNI (MP) TO MARK THE OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF THE COMPREHENSIVE REFUGEE RESPONSE FRAMEWORK (CRRF) IN TANZANIA

Friday, June 2, 2017

SPEECH BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS, HON. ENG. HAMAD MASAUNI (MP) TO MARK THE OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF THE COMPREHENSIVE REFUGEE RESPONSE FRAMEWORK (CRRF) IN TANZANIA
 
JULIUS NYERERE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE 02ND JUNE, 2017

  • Hon Rtrd Brigade General Emanuel Maganga Regional Commissioner of Kigoma
  • Hon Rtrd Major General Salum Kijuu Regional Commissioner of Kagera
  • Honorable Aggrey Mwanri Regional Commissioner of Tabora
  • Honorable Members of Parliament from Kigoma,
  • Distinguished Permanent Secretaries,
  • Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
  • The UNHCR Country Representative,
  • Distinguished Representatives from the United Nations
  • System, the World Bank, African Development Bank,
  • Invited Heads of International and Local Organizations,
  • Implementing Partners,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning
Allow me at the outset, on behalf of the United Republic of Tanzania and on my own behalf to express my deepest sense of appreciation to all of you, for availing yourself the opportunity to be here today, to bear witness to the official launching of the comprehensive Refugee Response Framework commonly known as CRRF.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Before I proceed, I want to acknowledge the presence among us, of the Regional Commissioners from Kigoma, Kagera and Tabora who despite their busy schedule are with us today to grace this occasion.  With us also are the members of Parliament from Kasulu, Kibondo and Kakonko. 
 
I really want to pay special tribute to these Regions who for over five decades have continued with sheer courage and determination to offer sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and refugees fleeing persecution from their countries.  Their presence here today testifies to their continued commitment to serve humanity even in the wake of the mounting challenges and hardship that continue to face their Regions.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Serving refugees is an International obligation that has never been easy and cannot be accomplished by a host country alone.  It is a partnership undertaking that takes to tasks, the efforts of multiple stakeholders as enshrined in the principle of international cooperation and on burden and responsibility sharing.
 
It is against this backdrop that I wish to pay tribute to the office of High Commissioner for Refugees in Tanzania, the entire United Nations system, our Development Partners, the World Bank, the International and Local Implementing Partners, for their continued support and co-operation that has enabled the Government of Tanzania, over the years to continue to dispense her international obligations as a Host state in providing sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers.  Your presence here today testifies to the commitment and importance you attach to this humanity cause.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
As we congregate here today under this Convention Centre, which draws its name from the founding father of this Nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the 1982 Nansen award winner, the respecter and protector of refugees and human rights, we are just about to set history into motion.  As I said earlier in my opening remarks, we are here today to officially launch the Tanzania chapter of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), itself an outcome of the New York declarations reached last year by the community of nations in the General Assembly.
 
Many of you might recall that, last year, during the leaders’ summit on refugee on 20th September, 2016, a day after the adoption of the New York Declaration on refugees and migrants by the United Nations General Assembly, Tanzania pledged to implement five commitments. These are:
 

  1. Continue to receive persons running from wars, conflicts political instability and persecution as defined under the International instruments to which the country is party to;
  2. Undertake the review of the 2003 National Refugee Policy and the Refugees Act, 1998, by the end of 2017 in order to ensure that the legal regime in the country is in line with international instruments and current humanitarian challenges related to mixed flows of asylum seekers and migrants;
  3. Continue to provide durable solution to the remaining 1972 Burundian refugees who were not naturalized, but allowed to apply for Tanzania citizenship;
  4. Improve the quality of protection for refugees in Tanzania by specifically enhancing their access to education and the domestic labour market;
  5. Support the adoption of the global compact on responsibility sharing for refugee and displaced people.

 
Tanzania was designated as one of the pilot countries for the implementation of the CRRF, thus we are as a host country resolved to develop CRRF in order to enhance equitable sharing of the refugee burden.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
As you all know, Tanzania is known for generosity and hospitality towards refugees, and it has done so consistently over five decades now. Thus the New York declaration, and its subsequently CRRF component are warmly welcome to cement already existing initiatives. To Tanzania and to the host communities in Kibondo, Kasulu, Kakonko etc, CRRF is welcome news.  
 
Let me assure you that the Government is committed and stands ready to co-operate with all stakeholders to ensure the full implementation and realization of the CRRF.
 
It is my hope that CRRF will transform all the areas hosting refugees into robust areas of economic prosperity both to the host communities and refugees living in dignity.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
As we stand together today to officially launch CRRF, let me assure that the United Republic of Tanzania will continue to honor her pledges made last year. This will be done through providing access to her Territory to thousands of asylum seekers fleeing persecution.  Since the endorsement of the Declaration last year, Tanzania has given access to her territory to over 75,000 asylum seekers, bringing the total number of refugees and asylum seekers in the country to 335,000 to date.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Asylum seekers and refugees are now being registered and those born within our borders will subsequently upon completion of necessary procedures be provided with birth certificates.  You may also wish to note that following the uplifting of the Prime Facie Declaration early this year, the Government in close consultation and collaboration with UNHCR have worked and agreed on standard operating procedures that will underline the screening and the Refugee Status Determination procedures on all asylum seekers, hence operationalizing the instruments for Adhoc Meetings.  This ongoing initiative clearly shows that Tanzania is consistently delivering on its first commitment of her pledge.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
The unprecedented act of generosity, involving the naturalization of over 162,000 former 1972 Burundian refugees in 2012, the naturalization of 3,000 Somali Bantu in 2013, the naturalization of some 32,000 Rwandese refugee in the 1980s, to mention but a few, further testifies to our continued resolve to offer durable solution to the refugee cause, itself an integral part of CRRF.  Even more important to those endeavors is the ongoing process to offer durable solution to the remaining 1972 caseload that for one or another reason missed out on process.  The conclusion of this process by the end of this year will mean that we have delivered on our pledge number three. We are also currently reviewing our National Refugee Policy to align it with the dynamics of the contemporary world. You might also be keen to note that Tanzania has and continues to be involved in peace negotiations in most of the refugee generating countries.  
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Based on the foregoing analysis, many of you will agree with me that Tanzania is already on course on the implementation of CRRF.  It suffice me, to inform you now, that in order to drive on motion the CRRF initiatives, the Government has established a National CRRF Secretariat, which will be Government led, but has brought on board all relevant actors ranging from UNHCR, WFP and other UN Agencies, development actors, academia, the Private Sectors and Civil Societies as exemplified by the just concluded presentation.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Quite frankly, if one takes a critical analysis of the achievements that have underlined the Tanzania chapter on CRRF, since last year, following the New York Declaration, one picture comes out very clearly, long before this launching:  THE GOVERNMENT OF TANZANIA IS DELIVERING ITS PART OF BARGAIN.  A look at the commitments portrays clearly that the Government of Tanzania is already delivering on all five commitments.
 
I believe now that the CRRF secretariat is in place, and since one of the underlying factor coming from the New York Declaration, is the need for supporting the host communities,  the Regional Commissioners and the members of Parliament present here today will be keen to see the reciprocity of that PART OF BARGAIN.  They are here to witness the official launching of the CRRF but most important to them and to the people of Kigoma, Kagera, Tabora and Katavi, will be to see how CRRF translate into tangible things such as schools, heath centers, water etc. that will go along was to improve the lives of the host communities.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
As Government, we would want to see how the New York Declaration and CRRF translate into humanitarian and developmental financing that is adequate, flexible, predictable and consistent, to enable Host Communities to respond both to immediate humanitarian needs and their long term development needs. Unfortunately this call comes at a time when the Tanzania refugee programme is only 4% funded. Tanzania’s ability to live to its pledges is very much contingent on the international community also meeting its commitments under the New York Declaration.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
In concluding my intervention, I take this opportunity to appeal to all of you to support the CRRF in general and its roll out in Tanzania. I appeal to the international community to provide, under the CRRF, adequate and direct support to the Government of Tanzania in relation to the following:
 
First, the international community should play its part of the bargain and fully support the final local integration of the former 1972 Burundian refugees who have been granted citizenship in Tanzania.
       
Secondly, the international community should provide directly to the Government of Tanzania adequate support to meet the needs of refugees currently hosted in the country.
       
Thirdly, the international community should fully cover the costs incurred by the Central Government and local authorities in connections with their refugee-related work, including provision of security and maintenance of law and order in refugee hosting areas.
       
Fourth, and lastly, the international community should provide directly to the Government of Tanzania and other local responders adequate support to address the impact of the presence of refugees in the country, as well as wider development needs, in areas hosting refugees.
       
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I thank you for your kind attention, and now I declare formally, that the CRRF Tanzania chapter is now officially launched.

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