Tanzania in the UN

First Committee – Disarmament

The United Nations First Committee is a subcommittee of the UN General Assembly and deals with disarmament and international security. The First Committee comprises all 192 members of the UN and meets each autumn.

The first Committee deals with the disarmament which includes unconventional or weapons of mass destruction that is nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and it also deals with conventional weapons which includes missiles , guns of different calibers and explosives of all types, in the due course of promoting International peace and security. Terrorism has of late emerged as a military and political doctrine using both conventional and non conventional military tactics to advance undefined political, ideological, religious and fanatical objectives.

The harrowing possibility of terrorists employing concealed unconventional weapons is increasing. This is the main current pre-occupation of the United Nations while other traditional disarmament concerns are being dealt with as routine issues with varying regional and national attentions.

In this particular aspects , Tanzania’s concerns have rightly been focused on terrorism after the 1998 bomb attack in Dar-es- Salaam and its negative aftermath on the tourist industry . In 2002, the Ant -Terrorist Law was passed in Tanzania though it has not been tested in the court of law and on the line the very law has been criticized by the Amnesty International for having given the government sweeping powers which if used may fringe the humanitarian rights and law.

At the International forum, Tanzania is required to report regularly on the implementation of the Security Council anti–terrorism resolutions which includes among others 1267 (1999) on Alqaeda and Taliban, 1373 (2001) on counter- terrorism, 1535 (2004) formation of Executive Directorate of Counter-terrorism, 1566 (2004) on Threat to International Peace and Security and 1540 (2004) on weapons of mass destruction and 1624 (2005), and 1625 (2005) on Threats to International Peace and Security (Security Council Summit). Up and until the end of 2004, Tanzania was in the bracket of late submitters, but as of now Tanzania has kept its word and does not fall in that category.

Tanzania is in the forefront in advocating actions against the illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons in all its aspects as a threat to national peace and security. The problem is perhaps serious in neighbouring countries and likely to have adverse consequences to Tanzania as a host to myriads of refugees. Tanzania must be active in negotiating International instruments on marking and tracing of small arms and light weapons and putting into operation United Nations Programme of Action on Combat, and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects. Tanzania has been commended for the timely and exemplary implementation of the Ottawa Convention on Ant –Personnel Treaty and of late has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) thus bringing the total number of ratification to 173 which enabled the treaty to enter into force.

Tanzania has been chosen as one of the countries for the installation of the global system for the detection of underground nuclear explosion with monitoring capability which extends across the Indian Ocean. The installation can be beneficial to Tanzania in many ways; among others providing employment, acquisition of scientific expertise and information related to early detection of disasters like tsunamis. The National Scientific Research Council liaises with the Vienna based offices. It calls for encouragement for the National Scientific Research Council to link up with other relevant institutions all over the country and share relevant information.

More UN Security Council Resolutions at: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_resolutions04.html

Second Committee – Economic and Financial Matters

The Second Committee is one of the Six Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. It mainly deals with Economic and financial matters. It handles economic issues related to international institutions such as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Labour Organisation (ILO), etc.

The agenda items for the Second Committee are mainly divided into 14 major agenda items with several sub-items. They cover a broad range of issues including, inter alia, macroeconomic issues, sectoral policy questions; international cooperation; environment and sustainable development; operational activities; globalisation and interdependence; special group of countries such as Least Developed Countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs and small island developing states (SIDS); operational activities for development; and follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development. These items change slightly in every session of the United Nations General Assembly due to the fact that some items are discussed annually, biannually and triennially.

Currently, the Committee focuses its discussion on the implementation of and follow up to the outcomes of the major UN Conferences and Summits of the 1990s and 2000s in the economic and social fields which include the International Conference on Population and Development, the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the United Nations Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the Doha Ministerial Conference, the International Conferences on Financing for Development, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This follows the completion and adoption of the work of the Open-ended ad hoc Working Group on the General Assembly on the integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields in 2003.


The Committee also deals with economic issues of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Council coordinates the economic, social, and related work of the UN and the specialised agencies and institutions- known as the UN family of organisations. The Council is covered by the schedule officers from both the Second and Third Committees. The Council holds several short sessions throughout the year to deal with the organisation of its work, as well as one four-week substantive session in July, alternatively between New York and Geneva. The substantive session discusses major economic, social and humanitarian issues.

ECOSOC has subsidiary bodies that include nine functional commissions, five regional commissions, and five standing Committees and expert bodies, among others. Under the functional commissions, the Second Committee deals with Statistical Commission, Commission on Population and Development, Commission on Science and Technology for Development and Commission on Sustainable Development.

Tanzania has only one officer who covers all these issues which makes it impossible for the officer to be efficient, effective and focused. The officer instead is forced to deal with these issues selectively.