The Board of Trustees (BOT) of Derasat held its 8th meeting, chaired by Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa, BOT Chairman, and attended by members: Dr. Ahmad Alyushi’, Dr. Wahib Nasser, Ambassador Tawfiq Ahmad Al Mansoor, Dr. Abdul Rahman Jawahri, and Dr. Khalifa Ali Alfadhel.
At the beginning, the Chairman and members extended heart-felt congratulations and well wishes to His Majesty King Hamad Bin Esa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, and His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince; Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, on the occasion of National Day celebrations on 16 and 17 December 2018, marking the anniversary of establishing modern Bahrain by its founder Mohammad Al Fatih, as an Arab Muslim country in 1783, and the 47th anniversary of Bahrain’s admission to the United Nations as a full-fledged member, as well as the 19th anniversary of His Majesty’s ascension to the throne.
During the meeting, the BOT discussed and reviewed the topics and projects on its agenda and the achievements attained in the last quarter of the current year, as set out below:
First: the BOT commended the launch of the National Report on Human Development by Derasat, in cooperation with the United Nation Development Program (UNDP), as a milestone contribution by Derasat towards sustainable development, and in conformity with the principles of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa stressed that the report spanning the period 2015-2018 aims at contributing to national-level insights and programs, being a technical, objective release that reflects reality in a transparent and unbiased manner, and which provides UN-level subtle indicators and constructive recommendations, all towards improving the standards of living for citizens, and establishing best practices that boost institutional effectiveness.
The Chairman highlighted that the report revolved around “sustainable economic growth”, which constitutes an ambitious development agenda building on reliable data and indicators, expressing that it was an honor that the Prime Minister had a look at the National Report on Human Development, and all its contents including Bahrain’s economic achievements portrayed in the report, and the recommendations set forth therein.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa extended great thanks to all partners who positively and actively contributed to this release, mentioning that the statistical update of the latest human development guidebook proved that cooperation between Derasat and UNDP had been a substantially positive factor towards Bahrain advancing 7 notches on the global rank, for the period 2012- 2017, the largest upward movement across Arab countries.
Second: the BOT stressed that the wide popular turn out in parliamentary and municipal elections, and the high level of participation on various scales, and the atmosphere of freedom and transparency, held testimony to the dynamism and successful procession of political and democratic life in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In this regard, he lauded the invaluable contribution made by Derasat in these elections, as exemplified in its conduct of an all-encompassing and objective poll, the largest of its kind across the region, which probed the opinions of citizens about these parliamentary and municipal elections.
Third: The BOT praised Derasat’s initiative of hosting the first periodical meeting of Arab think tanks and research centers, aiming to foil attempts to compromise the security and sovereignty of our countries. The meeting concluded with “Bahrain Declaration” under the title: “Intellect Contributing to Peace and Development”. It provides the core for establishing a Manama-based union of Arab research centers and think tanks. He much appreciated, in this regard, the noble royal vision about joining forces by Arab research and studies centers, as a means to support decision making, and to enhance methodological knowledge building, and the role of research in the progress of nations.
Fourth: Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa congratulated lady researchers and staff members of Derasat, across various disciplines and fields of work, as they proved their merit and valuably contributed to the Centre’s procession in a highly professional manner. He also lauded the limitless support of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Esa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, extended to Bahraini women, and His Majesty’s appreciation of their role in different areas. He also expressed sincere thanks and gratitude to Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King; Chairwoman of the Supreme Council of Women, for her substantial efforts and initiatives exerted to enhance women’s role as an active partner in society.
Fifth: The BOT was briefed with a short presentation on Derasat’s participation in international forums and events as well as its cooperation with various academic institutions. Correspondingly, and on the sidelines of the UN’s General Assembly meeting, Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa held a meeting with the Head of Economic and Social Council, UN, which aimed to boost cooperation, and establish integral and sustainable strategies.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa paid a visit to the Russian Federation where he delivered a lecture at the Moscow Government Institute for International Relations, on ways to further develop Bahraini-Russian relations. He also participated in the 2nd centennial of the Russian Oriental Institute, where a cooperation agreement between the institute and Derasat was signed.
The Chairman also attended the launching ceremony of the Global Think Tank Summit 2018 for international civil society institutions and think tank in Brussels, Belgium, which was organized by the US Pennsylvania University. He underpinned the importance of cooperation in the area of research and studies and intellectual interaction. He deplored practices by specific research and studies centers whereby research papers are released on issues relating to Arabian Gulf and the Middle East, depending on untrustworthy sources, and lacking methodological research criteria and academic impartiality. Furthermore, discussions tackled cooperation with the International Peace Institute, with an aim to promote and promulgate the culture of peace and co-existence in the region. Furthermore, Derasat received a high-level military delegation from the US National Defense University (Capstone), and a Derasat delegation took part in the 3rd West Asia Conference, which was organized by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), India.
Sixth: Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa delivered a lecture at the Royal Command, Staff, and National Defense College, titled: “Kingdom of Bahrain: Foreign Relations”, in which he highlighted the key challenges facing the foreign policy of Bahrain, as represented in keeping abreast with the substantial modernizing and reforming leaps witnessed by Kingdom of Bahrain. The Chairman also participated in the national symposium on “promoting the values of tolerance in media speech”. He accentuated that the noble royal approach towards comprehensive reform is a re-emphasis on and re-establishment of Bahrain’s embedded connection to the principles of freedom, tolerance, and co-living.
Seventh: The BOT valued the initiative of Derasat to assign a day of general medical check-up for all researchers and staff members, and the informative seminar on the prevention of cancer in all its various types. In this regard, the Centre published the results of a survey it had conducted on the importance of early detection of breast and prostate cancers.
Eighth: The BOT referred to the research and technical cooperation agreement that was signed between Derasat and the GCC Electricity Interconnection Authority, in a bid to strengthen mutual cooperation in relation to issues of renewable energy and energy security, as well as enhancing quality in this area.
Ninth: Dr. Shaikh Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Chairman, BOT, announced that work is currently underway, with the help of concerned authorities, to finalize the third and last stage whereby Derasat will become the first government entity that operates in an environment-friendly building, including all its facilities, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. He mentioned here that the Centre participated, in cooperation with concerned authorities, in the fourth focused program titled: “Green Industry: Towards Sustainable and All-Inclusive Development”.