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Bahrain News Database: 1
Strategy for Industrial Export Development:
In a statement at a seminar jointly
organized by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce and UNDP on the WTO
and FTA’s Role to Strengthen the Bahrain Strategy for Industrial
Export Development, Mr. Sayed Aqa, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP
Resident Representative, stated that “the role of fair trade cannot
be over emphasized in sustainable human development”.
Huma Fakher, UNDP Consultant based on a comprehensive analysis
studying threat and opportunities of WTO and FTA agreements for
Bahrain, spoke about the opportunities that exist for local SME’s to
utilize the FTA agreement as a launch pad for the Kingdom’s
manufacturing industry. Commercial development opportunities
acquired through enhanced global trade can be channeled into the
local economy if they are adequately utilized. It was highlighted
that the business community in Bahrain could do better to benefit
from provisions of US-Bahrain FTA.
“This underlines a need for capacities and support mechanisms to
maximize benefits from FTAs”, said Mr. Aqa. He also expressed the
willingness of UNDP to provide technical expertise to analyze the
implications of GCC-EU and GCC-China trade relations on the long
term economic as well as human development, and to provide relevant
The seminar was held under the patronage of Dr. Hassan Abdullah
Fakhro, Bahrain’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, who expressed
his appreciation for the support provided by UNDP. The event was
attended by over 50 delegates comprising of high level government
officials and key businesses.
27 June , 2007;
Urbanization: "A Majority in Cities":
The world is undergoing the
largest wave of urban growth in history. In 2008, for the first time
in history, more than half of the world’s population will be living
in towns and cities. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5
billion, with urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. While
mega-cities have captured much public attention, most of the new
growth will occur in smaller towns and cities, which have fewer
resources to respond to the magnitude of the change.
In principle, cities offer a more favorable setting for the
resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas.
Cities generate jobs and income. With good governance, they can
deliver education, health care and other services more efficiently
than less densely settled areas simply because of their advantages
of scale and proximity.
Cities also present opportunities for social mobilization and
women’s empowerment. And the density of urban life can relieve
pressure on natural habitats and areas of biodiversity. The
challenge for the next few decades is learning how to exploit the
possibilities urbanization offers. The future of humanity depends on
On June 27th, "The State of the World’s Population 2007: Unleashing
the Potential of Urban Growth" will be released by the UNFPA. This
year’s volume focuses on the challenges and opportunities that
urbanization presents for health and development.
UNFPA helps countries to address emerging demographic issues such as
urbanization in development and poverty eradication policies, plans
and strategies. It assists them to analyze the socio-economic
implications of urbanization and to design policies that respond to
the needs of diverse demographic groups within cities. The Fund
conducts research studies and strengthens national capacity to
understand trends and to collect, analyze and use data related to
2007 State of World Population report analyzes the coming urban
transformation and raises an urgent call for policymakers to take
proactive measures to unleash the potential it offers.
Mr. Sayed Aqa, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident
Representative, made a statement to the press regarding the launch
of the UNFPA Report. The country must plan for urbanisation in terms
of distribution of housing, business and services, he said.
17 June, 2007;
Conference - “Control of Hereditary Blood diseases in Bahrain”:
Health issues have a direct impact on development and this is why
UNDP Bahrain is taking active steps in this field, said Mr. Sayed
Aqa, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, at a
press conference held at UN House on the Control of Hereditary Blood
Diseases in Bahrain. The Press conference celebrates the
finalization of the student screening campaign of 2007 which
surveyed 18,000 children for hereditary blood diseases.
UNDP renewed its support to the cause of controlling blood diseases
in Bahrain through its support to the Ministry of Health. "The
project is aimed at controlling the diseases through building
national capacities within the Ministry of Health, health education
and raising public awareness on national level, improving reporting
systems, and upgrading preventive, diagnostic and curative
services," said Mr Aqa.
CDs prepared as educational awareness materials were handed over to
the Ministry of Education yesterday to be distributed to hospitals,
schools, universities, and citizens. The materials include booklets,
lectures, leaflets, and reports related to blood diseases in
Control of Hereditary Blood Diseases is one component of a joint
project between UNDP and the Ministry of Health. The other two
components are HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases; and Non
Communicable Diseases. The project began in 2005 and is due to be
finalized by the end of 2007.
Upcoming aspects of the Hereditary Blood Diseases component include
newborn screening, the launch of a public awareness campaign and
further training for medical staff on best international practices
in the field of genetic blood diseases
Mr. Aqa applauded the efforts of the government of the Kingdom of
Bahrain in this field and stated that these achievements are
12 June, 2007;
Conference on “Business Ethics and Integrity in the Middle East
Speaking at the
opening of a conference on Business Ethics and Integrity in the
Middle East 2007, Mr. Sayed Aqa, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP
Resident Representative expressed that “many factors other than
financial success contribute to sustainability. Strong governance
and ethical behavior contribute significantly to corporate
well-being.” The conference addressed the need to draw attention and
awareness to business ethics which can be attributed to a number of
key development factors such as ethics in government relations;
comparative organizational ethics, and business ethics in management
Mr. Aqa stressed the need for organizations and firms to establish
and follow codes of conduct with values and principles that improve
humanity as well as encourage profits. “Ethical behavior that
promotes greater economic opportunity for all results to stability
and rule of law”, he said.
The event was held under the patronage of Dr. Abdul Hussein bin Ali
Mirza, Minister of Oil and Gas and Chair of the National Oil and Gas
Authority, and attended by senior officials and dedicated ministry
8 June, 2007;
BAHRAIN's policy makers and
citizens were urged to take steps to reduce carbon emissions and
help halt climate change on the occasion of World Environment Day,
which was celebrated at Beit Al Quran, Manama.
British Council director Sandra Hamrouni said studies had projected
that sea levels were most likely to rise by 28 to 43cm by the end of
this century, which spelt potential disaster for Bahrain and other
countries on or around sea level. "Global warming is already
happening - it's not something in the distant future and we need to
take action now."
Ms. Hamrouni added that while climate change has already had a
devastating impact on the earth, it is within our power to head off
its worst effects without paying a high price, through technology
and through relatively small changes to the ways in which we live
and work. If each of us took responsibility to offset our carbon
emissions we could make a huge difference.
The celebration also brought together representatives from the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Public Commission
for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife.
This event marked the conclusion of a month-long environment
exhibition, entitled NorthSouthEastWest, which was conceived and
organized by the British Council and The Climate Group.
7 June, 2007;
Call for Greater Female Leadership in the Middle East:
Women must assume more
leadership positions in the public sphere in the Middle East,
according to the UN General Assembly President, Shaikha Haya bint
Rashed Al Khalifa. Shaikha Haya, a legal expert, was in Spain on a
three-day visit organized by Casa Arabe, an international institute
of Arab and Islamic Studies.
While the status of women differs in various regions of the Middle
East, Shaikha Haya noted that “Women in many parts of the region
still face multi-layered discrimination that is deep-rooted in our
legal framework, culture and educational system.”
Traditions become interconnected with religion which makes them
difficult to change or criticize. “This has created a mentality that
fears the autonomy of women because it is viewed as a threat; a
threat to the traditional family and a threat to the marital
relationship as well as a catalyst to sexual freedom” she added.
Shaikha Haya encouraged the teaching of more critical thinking in
philosophy and theology in order to tackle the obstacles we face
5 June 2007;
Shaikha Haya to receive Global Peace Award:
Shaikha Haya bint Rashed Al Khalifa,
President of the 61st session of the U.N. General Assembly, will be
bestowed the 2007 Path to Peace Award.
Shaikha Haya was unanimously selected to receive the Award which
will be presented on June 12 from the Path to Peace Foundation, an
agency established to carry out projects to support the work of the
Holy See Permanent Observer Mission at the United Nations.
“It is in recognition of her dedicated efforts on behalf of peace
and development,” said Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Path to Peace
Foundation President and Permanent Mission Observer of the Holy See
to the U.N. Shaikha Haya was legal adviser to the Royal Court in
Bahrain previous to her appointment as President of the U.N. General