UNGA President commends Bahrain as key UN partner in the region

Noreen Al-Thawadi and Hawraa Al-Fendi

Manama, May 3 (BNA): The President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly, Chapa Kurosi, said that Bahrain is one of the most constructive actors in the United Nations General Assembly, noting its great influence due to its diplomacy and approach.

Korosi said in a joint interview with the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) and Bahrain TV during his visit to countries that can adopt a vision for themselves, their development and their place in the wider world, those countries are the most successful. Bahrain, where he met His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and senior officials.

“Bahrain is a lucky country, because what I saw in Bahrain’s vision is a very good strategy for the future,” he said.

“And when I had the opportunity to have a discussion with His Majesty King Hamad, I found that he is a man of vision. Therefore, it is always reassuring that even in times of war, in times of financial crisis, in times of climate crisis… there are leaders in the world who take responsibility.”

Speaking about the purpose of his visit, which is the first to a country in the Middle East, Korosi said he sought to build alliances and cooperation with Bahrain.

“The world is in crisis,” he said. “It is the most complex and difficult crisis the world has gone through in 70 years.”

The President of the United Nations General Assembly said that his meetings with His Majesty the King and government officials discussed ways to help member states overcome the current crisis, make progress in the transformation of sustainability, and prepare for the challenges that await more in the future.

“My other purpose in coming here was to see with my own eyes what I saw from books and various reports; that it is possible, even in a small country where various diverse communities, whether religious or ethnic, can live, work and prosper together.”

“I saw very nice examples. I wish many leaders had the same tour that I had the opportunity to participate in.”

Korosi also met with young Bahraini diplomats to discuss how they view the world and how to update their knowledge of future challenges.

On cooperation between Bahrain and the United Nations, the President of the UN General Assembly said that Bahrain is a valued and very proud partner of the United Nations.

Bahrain is a regional hub for the United Nations, he said, adding that there are more than 20 UN agencies based here to serve the wider region.

He recounted that Bahrain was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly said that Bahrain is a very generous country in supporting humanitarian efforts, noting that it coordinates with the United Nations in all humanitarian activities that take place abroad.

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Kőrösi was the co-chair of the United Nations negotiations that produced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“When I collected the results of the long negotiations that resulted in the seventeen goals,” he said. “I was very hopeful because we felt it was something dangerous for all of humanity, for the future. But I still had some doubts, how could it reach different countries?”

He said he was positively surprised to see the progress made in this field in Bahrain, adding that it was one of the first countries to have a Ministry of Sustainable Development.

In addition to the administrative unit, he said it is reassuring to see how Bahrain has made efforts in aligning policies and allocating budgets to advance the process of transformation to sustainability.

Korosi said the SDGs are a global vision, not a national one.

He said that no one can implement the global vision, it must be translated into national realities.

He added that Bahrain has done its job, explaining that it has set 17 goals for its realities according to its needs, priorities, traditions and social structure, and has started a mechanism to transform the goals into a national program for development.

Bahrain has integrated the Sustainable Development Goals into its government action plans and aligned its efforts to implement them with the Economic Vision 2030.

The UN General Assembly president said he hoped Bahrain would share its experience with other countries.

He said that countries that can absorb the sustainable development goals and make them their own and design a national program for it and finance it; They are the most successful today.

“Changes happen with or without us,” he said. “The big question: Do we like to be the masters of change, or do we like to be the victims of change?”

The interview with the President of the United Nations General Assembly also shed light on the King Hamad Award for Youth Empowerment to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals and the Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa International Award for Women Empowerment.

He said that he discussed these two awards with His Majesty the King and Foreign Minister Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al-Zayani.

“I sincerely hope that these awards will turn into a kind of international award under the umbrella of the United Nations,” he said. “And if there is an intention on the part of the Government of Bahrain, to reach out to the United Nations to make it some kind of UN prize, I would be very happy to lend my support to that endeavour.”

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Kőrösi said efforts to support youth and women’s empowerment are of strategic importance to all societies.

“We have to make sure that 100% of societies, every individual, should be given the opportunity to develop his or her full potential,” he said. “We cannot leave half the population behind.”

The President of the United Nations General Assembly said that any efforts made in terms of transformation will determine the fate of not only this generation, but more generations to come.

“So, it’s about our children and grandchildren. If we want them to be on board, we have to get them involved.”

Kroese praised the progress made by women in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which was reflected in Bahrain’s rankings in the Human Development Index (HDI).

He pointed out that the second day of his visit to Bahrain began with three meetings with women leaders. Minister of Sustainable Development, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women, and Director General of the Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy for Diplomatic Studies (MBMA).

“Within the social structure, the education of girls and women is at least at the same level as that of men, and in the government sector you have the majority of working women,” he said.

“So, in terms of legal regulations, I think we did what we had to do, and now enforcement is in progress.”

The President of the 77th General Assembly noted that Sheikha Haya bint Rashid Al Khalifa of Bahrain was the third of only four women to hold the position of President of the United Nations General Assembly.

“She has been a very successful President of the General Assembly, especially when you have a time of crisis,” he said, describing the tenure of the 61st Presidency of the UN General Assembly.

“Women, in many cases, deal with crisis situations in a more empathetic way. They are in a way more sensitive to finding more complex solutions.”

Commenting on the importance of the meeting of the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly (UNCPGA), which was held in Bahrain last March, Korosi said that the results of the meeting will be reflected in the form of resolutions issued by the General Assembly.

He also expressed his gratitude for the initiative launched by His Majesty the King and offered his support for the establishment of an institution to support the work of the Council.

“When you have very complex situations that need to find integrated solutions. It takes knowledge. It requires experience. It requires scientific evidence. What past presidents can bring to the General Assembly is the kind of broad experience that doesn’t exist in any other part of the United Nations.” .

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Speaking about the opportunities and challenges during his presidency of the UN General Assembly, Korosi said that there are many goals, agreements and legal agreements; But more action had to be taken in terms of implementation.

“The time of crisis has come, and the crisis can only be overcome if we go to work through solidarity, sustainability and science,” he said. The slogan of the Presidency of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations General Assembly is “Solutions through Solidarity, Sustainability and Science”.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly said that the differences and disparities in the world are increasing, and this can lead to a polarized and unfair world.

“So, in my understanding, solidarity is now more important than ever. If more than a billion people do not have enough food to support themselves. It is a tragic situation. Humanity cannot afford it.”

He added: “If there are still more than 200 million people fleeing conflict, they are trying to find their place in the sunshine. If there are more than 2 billion people in the world who do not have access to safe drinking water in their daily lives. If a very large part of children in developing countries have dropped out of school much earlier than they would like to. And if in many countries we are still losing too many children before the age of five, these inequalities cannot persist. We must change.”

The President of the UN General Assembly stressed the need for a transformation, identifying the challenges facing the world in terms of climate change.

“These are the issues that will determine our future chances of life on Earth,” he said. “So, we have to make a sustainable transformation. This is what the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were created for.”

He highlighted the importance of science in facing these challenges and finding common political grounds that enable it to make a difference.

“We have to cooperate, and that common ground must be found and achieved, and it is in my understanding that common ground can be based on scientific evidence,” he said.

“Taken all of that together, you can call it the transformation programme,” he added, realizing that this course of action would extend beyond his time as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

“But as far as I see, the reaction of a number of countries including the State of Bahrain or those who bear responsibility for the future, many of these points resonate with governments. And I am very grateful to those governments that are trying to act responsibly and act in the name of humanity.”

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