UN DAY - Launching the My World Global Survey

Oct 24, 2013

A Bahraini student participating in a painting Competition at UN House in Manama

Marking the 68th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter, the UN Country Team held several events on October 24 to affirm that the UN has, is, and will continue to be committed to supporting the country in addressing its current and future development needs.

This year also marks the 42nd year since the establishment of the United Nations office in Bahrain; a partnership with strong high level interactions and partnerships between the United Nations and the Kingdom of Bahrain

UN Day 2013, under the slogan The United Nations Global Survey for a Better World, saw the official launch of the My World Survey.  With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Information Affairs, the United Nations in Bahrain aimed to raise awareness of the significance of this Survey. 

The My World Survey has been launched by the United Nations to ensure the voices of citizens are heard by their leaders. It gives people a list of 16 key priorities from which they can select the six most important they think would make the most difference to their lives. UNDP representative and UN Resident Coordinator elaborated that participating in the Survey presents an important and unique opportunity for Bahrain, as a small island state, with its particular challenges, to be heard on a global platform. 

A morning press conference was held at UN House where the video message of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki was screened. Official statements focused on the UN-Bahrain partnership and the My World Global Survey were delivered by Minister of State and official government spokeswoman H E Samira Rajab, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator Peter Grohmann, and UN Information Centre Director Nejib Friji.

HE Rajab became the first person in Bahrain to complete the online survey, available in six languages, including Arabic, in the presence of officials from UN agencies. In her statement at the launch, Ms. Rajab spoke of the urgency of issues that the UN faces today amid regional conflicts and climate change.  She also praised the efforts exerted by the Kingdom of Bahrain in the last decade to provide healthcare, equality among men and women, political freedom and take action on climate change.

The issues within the My World Survey cover the existing Millennium Development Goals, plus issues of sustainability, security, governance and transparency.  Mr. Grohmann confirmed Bahrain’s engagement in the MDG process pointing to the significant progress towards achieving and, in some cases surpassing, most of the global development targets. Bahrain has also demonstrated exceptional leadership in integrating the MDG framework in national planning and interventions with the support extended by the United Nations development agencies. He urged the valuable contributions of Bahraini citizens and residents to the new Post-2015 development agenda in order to garner a significant number of votes that truly reflect the needs and interests of the people of Bahrain.

The National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) congratulated UN agencies concerned with human rights on UN Day, and appreciated their efforts to raise people's awareness, protect human rights at an international level, and prevent violations.  The NIHR also commended the UN's efforts to combat poverty, eradicate epidemics, wars and conflicts, and establish a new economic system that ensures a fair distribution of wealth and consolidates bridges of trust among peoples across the world.

At a reception held under the patronage of HE Ghanem Fadhel Al Bu, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the UN Country Team in Bahrain welcomed ambassadors, top officials, and national partners in appreciation of their support to the UN.   In his statement, HE. Buainain remarked that as the Millennium Development Goals have made clear, the United Nations was a uniquely effective forum in which to mobilize international commitment on global issues, delivering real tangible benefits to those who are most in need.  He praised the role of the UNDP in supporting and consolidating development projects aimed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Mr Al Buainain hoped that the MY World Global Survey could not only inform policy makers as they debate the post-2015 agenda, but also highlight the role of the UN in promoting broad popular engagement and participation in global issues.

In an effort to engage all members of society in the national development process, the UN Information Centre organized an art session on the sidelines of the Survey's launch in which 16 young painters from Al Salam School, trained by Bahraini painter Abbas Al Mosawi, displayed work inspired by the campaign.