Manama: The National Information Committee yesterday held a workshop with civil society organisations on Bahrain’s on-going implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Over 220 representatives from various civil society organisations took part in the workshop held at the Isa Cultural Centre. The final report will be presented during the ministerial meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council High-Level Political Forum due to take place in New York in July.
In his opening speech, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the National Information Committee, Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Mutawa, noted that the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – represent the foundation of the Kingdom’s comprehensive development strategy through the advancement of key sectors including housing, health and education.
The Minister affirmed that the workshop reflects the government’s commitment to engaging with civil society, the private sector and academia, whose participation in the consultation process will be crucial to the success of the national report.
The Minister confirmed that the Kingdom continues to prioritise sustainable development in line with the objectives of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. In this regard, the Minister noted that under the directives of HRH the Prime Minister, 78 per cent of the UN SDGs are already being implemented as part of the government’s current programme of activity.
The Undersecretary for International Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the National Information Committee, Dr Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa highlighted Bahrain’s wide-ranging efforts to stimulate sustainable development at the domestic and international levels.
He drew attention to various other collaborative projects and initiatives conducted under the Strategic Partnership Framework between Bahrain and the UN, including the World Youth Congress and the World Forum of Entrepreneurs and Investment. In this regard, His Excellency noted that Bahrain has sought to align these initiatives with the objectives of the Government Action Plan (2015-2018) and Bahrain’s Economic Vision.
The Deputy Chief Executive of Statistics and Population Register at the Information and eGovernment Authority, Dr Nabil Mohammed bin Shams, discussed ways of linking national development plans to sustainable development goals based on the needs and priorities of the government and its citizens. The Deputy Chief Executive outlined the structure of the current government work programme, and the strategic priorities identified in line with the UN SDGs.
The Information Committee, formed under the chairmanship of the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, was assigned to follow-up on the Millennium Development Goals agenda beyond 2015.
The Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme in Bahrain, Amin El Sharkawi, addressed UN efforts to provide technical and technological expertise across all sectors and praised the leading role Bahrain has taken by incorporating sustainability into its development programme.
During the workshop, participants were split into groups divided across the seventeen sustainable development goals. Participants examined the priorities and engaged in brainstorming sessions to identify ways to implement the UN SDGs in line with Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.