Arab-African Symposium for Strategic Cooperation

Derasat at the Arab-African Symposium on Combating Terrorism His Excellency Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bahrain Center for Strategic and International Studies and Energy (DERASAT), participated in the opening of the Arab-African symposium on Strategic Cooperation, Combating Terrorism and Extremism, with knowledge and education held in Cairo from 16 to 17 April, organized by the Egyptian and Arab Solidarity Foundation, in cooperation with the Arab African Cultural Institute of the League of Arab States, with the participation of intellectuals, academics, ambassadors, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, human rights organizations and selected dignitaries from 25 countries. In his speech during a session of the conference titled, “Addressing the phenomenon of Terrorism “, Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa stressed that terrorism is currently the most important challenge facing the countries of the Middle East and the world. The year 2017, according to UN statistics, resulted in the deaths of 25 thousand people, the injury of 33 thousand others and resulted in terrorist operation losses of $90 billion. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees pointed to the difficulties facing effective and comprehensive confrontation of terrorism, in particular; the persistence of strict theocracy, rogue state sponsoring, managing and financing of terrorism, and the provision of safe havens to their communities. Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa warned of the “state terrorism” practiced by the Iranian regime in many countries of the region, as well as the scheme of “excessive turbulence” adopted by Qatar, to undermine Arab national security. He pointed out that there is a mutual relationship between terrorism and human rights in its broadest sense, as terrorism is one of the most serious violations of human rights violating the most important of these rights, the right to life and to live in security and safety. Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa stressed the need to address the phenomenon of terrorism, including beyond the security framework, pointing out that security and human rights values are complementary. These are the pillars of any development and progress in the sense that there is no lasting security without human rights and no protection of human rights without security. Neither of these values may be sacrificed in the interest of the other. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strike a balance between national security necessities and combating terrorism towards human rights. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa reviewed Bahrain’s experience in combating extremism and terrorism as one of the leading Arab models in this field. The Kingdom of Bahrain, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has taken a comprehensive approach to shaping an integrated development program, raising the standard in all areas of reform and development including combating terrorism from a human rights and citizenship perspective. The starting point was in achieving consensus and popular consent on reforms by adopting the National Action Charter on 14 February 2001 , to complete the formation of a modern national state in 2002, under which the principle of separation of powers, popular participation and State guarantees of personal and religious freedoms were affirmed. In this regard, he referred to the many innovative initiatives to enhance the quality of life and welfare of citizens, such as the launch of the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, and investment in human development based on the principles of sustainability, competitiveness and justice. He added that Bahrain is considered one of the most advanced countries in the field of human development according to international indicators. Different groups such as women and youth have accomplished great achievements and equal partnerships.The Kingdom is also a pioneer in the field of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence. In terms of security, he pointed out that measures have been taken and binding rules have been set towards the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism. The Kingdom is also a leader in the field of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence. Bahrain recently issued a global document to promote religious freedom and also established the King Hamad International Center for Peaceful Coexistence. Binding measures and rules have been adopted to protect human rights in the fight against terrorism. These include; the ratification by the Kingdom of Bahrain of the majority of international human rights conventions and treaties; the establishment of several human rights institutions and committees, including The National Human Rights Foundation, the Human Rights Commission of the Ministry of the Interior, the General Secretariat of Complaints, the Commission on the Rights of Prisoners and Detainees and the Special Investigation Unit. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa said that the Kingdom of Bahrain continues its efforts in the fight against terrorism at the regional and international levels, in light of its active membership in the international coalition against terrorism and the Islamic Military Alliance to combat terrorism. In addition, the Arab Court of Human Rights Agenda was signed off last March as an initiative of His Majesty the King, reflecting the Kingdom’s keenness to promote respect for rights and freedoms and to provide assurances towards their preservation. The Chairman reiterated the importance His Majesty The King places on adopting moderation, tolerance and thought leadership as key pillars of reform, development and the preservation of human rights, highlighting the leadership’s appreciation for Al-Azhar as part of their role as a scientific and religious pillar adopting the implementation of moderate Islam. Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, concluded his speech by stressing the rights of citizenship, taking preventative measures towards promoting security intelligence and containment of threats from state sponsors of terrorism.

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