Manama-Beirut, 25 April 2006
(United Nations Information Service)--
The National Conference on Social Development in Bahrain, organized by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Social Development and UNESCWA on 24-25 April 2006, ended with a press conference at the Manama Crown Plaza Hotel held by Bahraini Minister of Social Development Fatima Al-Bloushi and UNESCWA Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy.
The two parties focused on the results of their visit to HRH Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, as well as the means of implementing the conference recommendations. These recommendations included the continuation of cooperation between UNESCWA and the Bahrain Ministry of Social Development and the steps to be taken by the Ministry in achieving integrated social policies in the Kingdom.
Tallawy thanked the press for their cooperation. She was pleased and appreciative of the support expressed by the Prime Minister of Bahrain “for his attention to the issue of social development and for considering it a major priority for the Arab world, one that complements the economic boom the Gulf states, in particular, are witnessing.” Tallawy commended the wise leadership of Sheikh Al Khalifa in identifying the problems facing the Arab world in light of international developments.
On her part, Al-Bloushi stressed the timeline established for the Ministry to execute steps aimed at giving social development policy in Bahrain a scientific basis and securing the participation of the public and private sector and civil society organizations. Al-Bloushi said there will be active follow-up with UNESCWA to provide relevant reports to the Cabinet. She announced that a detailed report on the conference will be submitted to the Cabinet and went on to detail the steps to be taken in implementing its priorities, among them: establishing a social policies unit within the Ministry of Social Development; establishing a social information system in the Kingdom; the role of the Ministry of Social Development; convening a National conference on Social Policies; and preparing and implementing a capacity building program for social policies.
The conference recommendations were announced right before the press conference. They focused on the importance of political leadership in planning integrated social policies and giving them the priority so as to empower state and civil institutions to implement and achieve their goals in a manner that ensures peace and social justice and achieves solidarity among individuals in society. The recommendations focused on: the importance of introducing legislation supportive of social policies and their compliance with international agreements; the need to prepare and rehabilitate workers and specialists on the implementation of social policies in the Kingdom while ensuring competent performance, quality assurance, and improved services. Participants in the conference called for a greater role for civil organizations and governmental bodies and institutions in strengthening social policies.
Early Tuesday, UNESCWA Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy and Bahraini Social Development Minister Fatima Al-Bloushi met with HRH Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, accompanied by Ms. Nemat Kanaan, Advisor to the Executive Secretary, and Mr. Riadh Tappuni, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCWA Social Development Division. A number of senior officials from the Court of the Bahraini Prime Minister also attended the meeting.
Discussions during the meeting focused on the regional situation, UNESCWA activities, and the support needed from the Bahraini Prime Minister to strengthen social development policies in Bahrain.
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