At the “Citizenship in the National Charter” seminar held in Assilah, Morocco as part of Assilah Cultural Forum, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies “Derasat” HE Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said that the National Action Charter is a comprehensive document, drawn up by a visionary King for the present and future of the homeland.
The “Citizenship in the National Charter” seminar was organized as part of the 40th Assilah International Cultural Forum by the Forum in cooperation with Derasat and attended by a number of officials, academics and thinkers from the Kingdoms of Bahrain and Morocco. In his speech at the opening session of the seminar, Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said that the National Charter, as a structure, content and philosophy, laid the foundations of a modern civil state and citizenship rights in line with the ambitious modernization project led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain. The Charter was a promising beginning for the full and comprehensive modernization of state institutions and their constitutional powers.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of “Derasat” said that the adoption of the Charter by unprecedented unanimous popular vote in a referendum represented a turning point in the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the region as a whole. He added that the Charter which covered the basic principles of society, protection of personal freedoms, popular participation in public affairs and economic fundamentals of the society was a fully-fledged national project that came in fulfillment of the people’s aspirations. In accordance with the Charter, the constitution was amended, the country declared a constitutional kingdom and municipal and bicameral parliamentary elections restored. Constitutional institutions were formed and public freedoms were established. As a result, political societies and non-government organizations (NGOs) were established and women were empowered and encouraged to participate in the political and social life and family welfare, as well as assuming the highest positions at home and abroad. There was a long list of reforms and achievements in the areas of basic services and the launching of initiatives at various levels.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla added that the Charter contributed to the success of the Kingdom of Bahrain in overcoming many challenges. On the economic front, despite limited natural resources and fluctuating oil prices, the human investment strategy adopted by Bahrain in accordance with Economic Vision 2030 to diversify sources of income, attracted quality investments and new economic activities that yielded significant results. The national economy is ranked at present as the fastest growing economy in the Gulf region, unemployment rate dropped to below 4% and Bahrain’s status as a financial and business hub was enhanced. At the security level, the Kingdom of Bahrain continued its cooperation with military partners and alliances to combat the threats of terrorism. The security services have succeeded in thwarting many terrorist plots and apprehended terrorist cells trained in Iranian Revolutionary Guard camps.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa concluded that the National Action Charter promises a better future for sustainable progress and growth. We every day see achievements and successes on the ground as part of a robust national project through which the hopes and aspirations of the people are going to be realized. Bahrain is a constitutional kingdom in which rights and freedoms are safeguarded in accordance with our circumstances, national interests and our identity and values.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees expressed his pride in the fruitful cooperation between the Assilah International Cultural Forum and the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies “Derasat” as part of the investment in research and culture as tools for serving the society. Such cooperation can contribute to building a new culture capable of combating and defeating extremism and terrorism, a culture that can help dealing with the challenges facing the Arab nation at this critical stage of its history. He stressed the importance of investing in research and culture as an important tool for achieving progress and comprehensive sustainable development that focusses on the empowerment of people and development of society.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said “We at Derasat, in the midst of a highly unstable and volatile region, seek to build bridges between opposing viewpoints, create more room for constructive discussions and dialogues and adopt a discourse that promotes understanding by offering strategic options and creative initiatives. We strongly believe that instead of wasting them in conflicts, resources must be invested in prosperity and progress”.