The Government of Bahrain signed a strategic partnership with United Nations (UN) which will have 16 UN agencies work closely with the Kingdom of Bahrain in various fields and offering its expertise towards news projects for the sustainable development of Bahrain.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to the Kingdom of Bahrain Amin El Sharkawi and representatives of 16 UN Resident and Regional Agencies signed the Strategic Partnership Framework Agreement between Bahrain and the United Nations 2018-2022.

The Foreign Minister affirmed that the Strategic Partnership Framework is a new important step in the outline of the ongoing cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations in all fields and at all levels.  It also reflects common desire to turn this cooperation into programs and initiatives that increase ongoing and future collaboration opportunities between the Government of Bahrain and UN Agencies. This will aid in the implementation of the government work plan 2015-2018, within the government priorities and the Bahraini Economic Vision 2030 and bring them into line with UN Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Undersecretary of International Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs said during a press briefing, “The signing of the SPF is a very important milestone in the partnership between Bahrain and the UN agencies. The deal allows Bahrain to focus on its priorities. It allows us to make sure that all these initiatives and projects are in line with the government priority framework and the Sustainable Development  Goals and the Vision 2030 of Bahrain.”

Amin El Sharkawi thanked the Kingdom of Bahrain and UN Agencies for their incessant efforts that yielded the Strategic Partnership Framework as an unprecedented step in the region, paying tribute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for his continued follow-up until goal is achieved. He affirmed that the Strategic Partnership Framework is in total harmony with Bahrain’s development strategies and policies and constitutes a broader coordination platform for UN Agencies to assist with support project.

16 UN agencies including United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF), World Health Organization(WHO), International Labour Organization(ILO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization(UNIDO) Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), and UN-Habitat – United Nations Human Settlements Programme are included in the partnership.

A representative from UN-Habitat outlined the work currently being undertaken with the Ministry of Housing to revise the housing policy of Bahrain and building on the successful experience of Bahrain. On another front, UN-Habitat, along with the Ministry of Housing, are also going to take Bahrainis experience to other parts of the world and facilitate the exchange of ideas regarding housing. They are going to work with the Ministry of Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning on other projects. An FAO representative stated that their focus will be on the marine and fisheries resources in Bahrain. On gender equality, UN Women stated that they will be working with the Supreme Council for Women on global awards for women’s empowerment.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also attended the celebration of the United Nations Day that marks the 72nd Anniversary of the approval of the UN Charter. He affirmed that the historic cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations and their shared desire to reinforce collaboration in all areas would continue, noting that the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed was the first of its kind in the region.

The Minister further mentioned, “Working side by side with the United Nations team in the Kingdom of Bahrain to support the Economic Vision 2030 and the national work plan 2015-2018 within the government priorities, we have made many achievements.”

Most important of these attainments, he cited the launch of King Hamad Award for Empowering Youth, an international award which rewards the companies and social institutions that focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mentioned Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa’s Global Award for Women Empowerment, to reinforce UN's development goals and underpin women’s role in development.

The Minister also stated that the 9th International Youth Conference that took place in April aimed to empower youth to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Held under the patronage of HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, in cooperation with the UNDP, the focus of the conference was on raising awareness about the SDGs amongst youth and reinforcing their role to achieve them.

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