Bahrain's Foreign Minister Outlines Steps for Reform, Commitment to Regional Security in Speech to the United Nations General Assembly

Sep 30, 2012, 20:39 ET from Kingdom of Bahrain

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In remarks before the 67th United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Bahrain's Foreign Minister – His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa – highlighted the progress Bahrain has made during its decade-long reform project and commented on a number of issues pertaining to regional security.

"Throughout its long history, Bahrain has opted for dialogue as an approach to all its modernization efforts oriented towards meeting the requirements of modern times, beginning by the election of municipal councils in the 1920s and the parliamentary councils during the last decades," he said. "Important results were achieved in providing a greater degree of equality, participation, transparency, political rights and human dignity. This represents a historical achievement towards a society based on competitive sustainability, justice, the rule of law, equality, and the consecration of the principles of popular representation and participation in the decision making process."

H.E. Shaikh Khalid also addressed events since the outbreak of unrest in February 2011 and reiterated the proactive steps the Government of Bahrain has undertaken to make meaningful reform.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain has faced since last year a number of serious challenges to its security and stability which it addressed with full transparency, commitment and honesty in order to restore security and stability," he said. "In this context, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry was created to establish the truth and give each person his or her due. Consequently, a comprehensive dialogue took place among the various sectors of society and resulted in a series of constitutional and legislative reforms encompassing all aspects of life: political, social, and legal."

His Excellency continued, saying, "Consistent with its continued efforts aimed at building a pluralistic Bahraini society and its commitment to the protection and enhancement of human rights, the Kingdom of Bahrain last week accepted, before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, more that 90% of the recommendations made by the Council in the context of the Universal Periodic Review."

In addressing issues of regional security, His Excellency the Foreign Minister reaffirmed Bahrain's support for the establishment of a union between states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and called upon Iran to cease its interference in the internal affairs of its neighbors.

"While the Member States of the GCC stretch out their hand to their neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, they unfortunately find no response that may facilitate confidence building and peace and security. On the contrary, they have to face constant interference in their internal affairs," he said.

SOURCE Kingdom of Bahrain