His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has launched an initiative to establish a taskforce comprising United Nations Member States to support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in facing the repercussions of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on the progress of the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UN group will be named “Friends of the UN Secretary-General” on improving ways to counter the negative impacts of COVID-19 on SDGs’ achievement”.
HRH Premier’s initiative was widely welcomed and backed by international organisations and high-profile personalities participating in the “Bahrain Visions Forum: Shared Visions for a Successful Future 2020”, held today under his patronage
The participants paid tribute to HRH Premier for his efforts in support of joint collective action aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
HRH the Prime Minister called for a global strategy that would enhance the right to health security for peoples, being an integral part of global security in its comprehensive sense, affirming that mankind’s security and safety can only be achieved with the solidarity and cooperation of all and their belief in the common human values that unite them.
HRH Premier stressed that facing the dangers sweeping the world and posing a threat to human life and the achievements of civilisations necessitates emphasising the importance of international collective action, setting aside differences and building trust.
The Prime Minister made the statements during the opening of the “Bahrain Visions Forum: Shared Visions for a Successful Future”. The speech was delivered on HRH Premier’s behalf by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani.
Themed “Sustainable Development Goals: Beyond COVID-19 Pandemic”, this year’s forum is organised virtually by the Court of HRH the Prime Minister, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It also coincides with the High-level Meetings of the General Assembly, held on the sidelines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75), as well as the celebration of the United Nations General Assembly’s 75th anniversary.
In his speech, HRH the Prime Minister noted the importance of strengthening the foundations of international sustainable cooperation in the post-COVID- 19 phase, in order to ensure that resources and energies are directed towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, with the need to review these goals and set priorities in line with the requirements of this period, and to strengthen the immunity of countries in facing various challenges in the future.
HRH Premier indicated that in light of the current exceptional circumstances resulting from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bahrain, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is keen to provide all support to the citizens and residents on equal footing in a manner that guarantees the safety of society and the health of all its members.
This has been done through the efforts of Team Bahrain, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, and the National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus, which significantly contributed to Bahrain’s success in dealing with the pandemic capably and professionally by providing all health, social and economic facilities to the Kingdom’s citizens and residents alike, he said.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the Bahraini medical and nursing competencies for their remarkable patriotic role in addressing the pandemic, praising their commendable noble humanitarian efforts that continue to serve the community.
HRH Premier asserted that this pandemic has created a global health threat that resulted in a whirlpool of social anxiety and turmoil in all walks of life, expressing hope that the challenges of the current crisis will be a catalyst for strengthening coordination and integration mechanisms among countries and peoples, and building a better world based on sensible conscience, noble values , fraternity and joint action, which will pave the way for helping the needy and ensuring that no one would be left behind.
The Prime Minister affirmed that the Coronavirus pandemic and its economic, social and political repercussions have created a new reality, and have placed the peoples and governments of the world before wide-ranging challenges, citing the disruption of various aspects of public life, including economic activities, leading to an economic contraction, the decline in growth rates, increase in government spending and an unprecedented rise in global debt rates.
In his speech, HRH the Prime Minister praised the role of the WHO and its Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in leading international efforts to confront this emergency situation and supporting the efforts of countries, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, in developing policies, programmess, diagnosis, treatment, as well as precautionary and preventive measures.
HRH Premier considered that organising the forum at this time represents a tangible contribution to supporting international efforts aimed at eradicating the pandemic so that conditions return to normal and the world moves forward with sustainable development efforts.
The Prime Minister also expressed sincere congratulations to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and to all partners, officials and workers in UN agencies and programmes, on the occasion of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the international organisation.
HRH the Prime Minister praised the organisation’s effective role in stimulating international action to achieve development goals for a better future for the entire humanity.
Participants in the forum included Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Mutawa, Health Minister, Faeqa bint Said Al-Saleh, Cabinet Affairs Ministry’s Undersecretary, His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Shaikh Hussam bin Isa Al Khalifa, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Board of Trustees Chairman of the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies, Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.
Omani Ambassador to Bahrain, and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Abdulla bin Rashid Al Medailwi, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Resident Representative to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Stefano Pettinato, also took part in the event.
A group of high-profile personalities, in addition to senior UN and WHO officials, also participated in the event, held annually by HRH Premier’s Court.