New Delhi, 15 November 2019.
Excellencies Ambassadors/High Commissioners,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
You must have been expecting to be addressed by the current AALCO President, His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Augustine Mahiga, the Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs of Tanzania. Unfortunately, certain domestic exigencies have hindered his travel abroad.
I therefore kindly ask you to indulge me the honour of representing him. I can assure you one good thing. That even though I am a substitute, I will be absolutely faithful to his instructions and be his master’s voice.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The establishment of AALCO was a historic event in the long saga of post-colonial assertion of those States in Asia and Africa whose experiences as States and as peoples have certain commonalities.
It is to celebrate those commonalities and affirm the spirit of solidarity that we have assembled here on the 63rd Constitution Day of AALCO. This is a special occasion in many aspects. And when we commemorate this special day we do so with great pleasure.
In these 63 years, AALCO has indeed made invaluable contribution as an advisory body for its newly decolonized Member States. Its contribution to the development of international law jurisprudence is a cause for our celebration today. But because of the limitation of time, I will not attempt to go over those milestones that our organization has accomplished over the years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In terms of the relationship between the United Republic of Tanzania and AALCO, it started off in 1965 when we were accorded an observer status and later in 1973 as a member, under the leadership of the Founding President of the United Republic of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
In 1986 the 25th Session of AALCO was held in Arusha, and in 2010 the 49th Annual Session of AALCO was hosted in Dar es Salaam.
Very recently, the 58th Annual Session of AALCO was successfully held in Dar es Salaam from 21- 25 October 2019.
Delegates from 25 Member States, 5 Non-Member States and 7 international organizations deliberated on 7 substantive agenda items on the work programme of AALCO.
The Annual Session presented a unique opportunity to the participating delegates to discuss on international law topics of contemporary relevance. And in order to appreciate the strong attachment that Tanzania has for AALCO, the opening ceremony of the annual session was graced by the Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan.
In addition, the august presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Hon. Prof. Palamagamba John Kabudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and Hon. Prof. Adelardus Kilangi, Attorney-General, United Republic of Tanzania during the inaugural ceremony of the 58th Annual Session as well as in the thematic sessions has been a source of admiration.
Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Permit me at this juncture to express my sincere gratitude to H.E. Prof. Dr. Kennedy Gastorn, Secretary-General of AALCO and his dedicated team for the efforts undertaken in organizing the Annual Session, and thank the delegates for their participation which made the Session a great success.
Under his able leadership, AALCO’s network of cooperation with other organizations has developed manifold. And for this reason, I am glad to report that the Government of Tanzania will continue to support his efforts with a view to sustaining the gains and enriching the network.
By and large, the perception that multilateralism is the solution to most of the present global challenges has received a fillip or rather a stimulus in the deliberations in the Annual Session in Dar es Salaam, and further work, I am quite certain, would be done by the Secretariat pursuant to its objective of contributing to the progressive development of international law.
In closing, I wish to reiterate our faith and commitment to the Bandung Spirit, and wish you all a very pleasant evening!
I thank you for your kind attention!