National Information Committee, UN delegation discuss SDGs 2030

Manama, The National Information Committee, led by Cabinet Affairs Minister Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Mutawa, held a meeting with a delegation from the Sustainable Development Division at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, led by Saras Jagwanth.

The meeting reviewed the technical support and cooperation provided by the United Nations to contribute to the preparation of the Kingdom's first national voluntary report to implement the goals of sustainable development 2030, which will be presented to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in July.

Al Mutawa, the Committee Chairman, praised the advanced level of cooperation between Bahrain and the United Nations and its specialised agencies.

He affirmed the keenness of the Bahraini government to invigorate all forms and manifestations of cooperation with international organisation to serve its goals in promoting development efforts and boosting peace across the world.

Al Mutawa stressed that Bahrain is currently working through a dedicated team to prepare the first national voluntary report for the Kingdom to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

The team has completed the preparation of the first draft of the report and is currently taking the observations of the concerned parties and their views on it, he added.

The minister noted that Bahrain has set the achievement of the goals of sustainable development as the top priority of the Government Action Plan and has worked to integrate these goals into its core matters. He pointed out that the government succeeded in integrating about 78 per cent of the 2030 sustainable development agenda and goals into the 2015-2018 Government Action Plan.

Undersecretary for International Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the National Information Committee, Dr Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa highlighted Bahrain's endeavours to advance the UN efforts in the field of sustainable development, noting that the Kingdom is one of the first countries that have adopted the institutional arrangements to ensure the follow-up of the implementation of the 2030 SDGs and their alignment with the Government Action Plan.

Shaikh Abdullah noted the role of the Information and e-Government Authority and various stakeholders in collecting data and information for the voluntary national report. He expressed his thanks and appreciation for all the efforts exerted to present the honourable picture and genuine facts about Bahrain.

Jagwanth expressed her thanks and appreciation to the Government of Bahrain for its cooperation and readiness to exchange knowledge and information and to benefit from experiences in preparing the Kingdom's first voluntary national report.

The UN official gave a presentation on the mechanism for the presentation by states of their national reports at the high-level political forum of the Economic and Social Council.

She also spoke of the forum, goals and mechanisms for reviewing national reports and the experiences of states that submitted their national reports in 2016 and 2017, and reviewed the guidelines prepared by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, stressing the importance of the participation of all stakeholders to take effective institutional action to achieve the 2030 SDGs.

Jagwanth discussed with the Committee members the content and objectives of the report, which facilitated the exchange of experiences, including successes, challenges, lessons learned and achievements, as well as the strengthening of policies and institutions of participating Governments, and helping to translate the objectives of sustainable development into a national vision and goals that lead to actions capable of bringing about the desired transformation.

She gave an account of the best practices of states in the preparation of their reports during the review of reports in previous years, and the experiences of states in developing institutional mechanisms or procedures for sustainable development goals.

Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme in Bahrain Amin El Sharkawi said the visit by the Sustainable Development delegation to Bahrain is aimed at coordinating and consulting on the preparation of the first voluntary national report to implement the goals of sustainable development.

We motivate all countries, including Bahrain, to present what has been achieved through a report reviewing these goals, and we encourage them to listen to all voices, including civil society, the private sector, the parliamentary and academia in order to participate in the preparation of this report and to benefit from its outputs in its government action plan for the coming years, he said. We have already seen - in fact - in April last, three sessions that included various workshops to familiarise these sectors with the voluntary report and to listen to their views on the implementation of the goals of sustainable development. This confirms that it is a report based on genuine community partnership, under national leadership.

El Sharkawi noted that the United Nations is keen to include more sustainable development goals in the Government Action Plans for the coming years and how they can be reviewed in future reports, stressing the United Nations support of Bahrain to achieve maximum development in its three dimensions; Community, environmental and economic.

Source: Bahrain News Agency