King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa of Bahrain addresses the general debate of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.
© UN Photo/Marco Castro

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,

It is our pleasure, at this international forum, to greet our brothers and
friends, the Heads of State and the delegations represented in this Hall. We
hope that our meetings at this Sixty-sixth session of the United Nations
General Assembly will be fruitful, and will result in concrete outcomes
commensurate with our aspirations for a global environment of stability,
security and lasting peace, for the good and wellbeing of humanity at large.

We are pleased to see yet another diplomat from the Gulf Cooperation
Council presiding over the General Assembly, and we take this opportunity
to offer our sincere wishes of success to His Excellency Ambassador Nasser
bin Abdul Aziz AI-Nasr in his international mission and of further progress
and advancement at all levels for his country, the brotherly State of Qatar.

We express our thanks to his predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Joseph Deiss,
for his valuable contributions in steering the work ofthe previous session.
We would also like to express our deep appreciation to the SecretaryGeneral,
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his ceaseless efforts to
enhance the role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace
and security, and his persistent endeavours to achieve the prerequisites for
stability in our world, namely development and collective international
cooperation for the benefit ofthe peoples of the world as a whole. We seize
this opportunity to congratulate him on his re-election for a second term of

There is no doubt that the world is now entering a new era of
important changes, in which the growth of modern means of communication
has led to rapid and unprecedented transformations in the world such as
those we are now experiencing in our Arab region. More than a decade ago,
we in the Kingdom of Bahrain recognized the need to proceed towards
greater reform and improvement, keeping in mind the supreme interest of
our people, to satisfY their demands for freedom, democracy and political
participation; a home-grown participation, according to the evolution of each
country and its history. Reform also aimed to provide decent living
conditions, security and tranquillity in a society of peaceful coexistence,
equality, equal opportunities for empowerment to achieve justice and
sustainable development for all.

In all its modernization endeavours, the Kingdom of Bahrain
persistently followed, throughout its long history, the approach of dialogue.

Building on the consensus of the people of Bahrain around the principles of
National Action Charter of 2001, we initiated the national dialogue process
involving all sectors and components of the population. The aim is to take
on board the requirements of modern progress, to guarantee the continuation
of the reform process, to fulfil the national aspirations of moving forward
towards comprehensive modernization and to enhance popular participation
in decision making within an all inclusive national partnership. We hereby
reaffirm our support for the outcome ofthe Dialogue

The achievements of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the national level are
therefore an extension of a long history dating back to the beginnings of the
last century, in which we have worked to achieve a society based on justice,
equality, transformation and openness. Our people’s authenticity, our culture,
our free economy, political development, and commitment to the universal
principles of human rights and peaceful coexistence and respect for the
views of others, constitute the real wealth of the country, which we preserve
and sustain for future generations.

Mr. President,

Today, more than any time in the past, the international community is
offered a propitious opportunity to do justice to the brotherly Palestinian
people to achieve their legitimate aspirations by recognizing their
independent Palestinian state on their own national territory, with East
Jerusalem as its capital. This would put an end to an era ofbitter Arab-Israeli
conflict, subject to a complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab
territories to the lines of 4 June 1967 in Palestine, the occupied Syrian Arab
Golan and the occupied territories in southern Lebanon, in accordance with
the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace

Based on our commitment to the security of the Arabian Gulf region,
we emphasize the need to resolve the issue of the three occupied United
Arab Emirates’ islands, through direct negotiations or by referral to the
International Court of Justice. With regard to developments in the brotherly
Yemen, the Kingdom of Bahrain supports the Gulf initiative to maintain the
security, stability and unity of Yemen and achieve the aspirations of its
people. We also emphasize in this respect the importance of preserving the
unity of Moroccan territory and resolving the issue of the Moroccan Sahara
in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Consistent with its commitment to concerted international action, and
its role and responsibilities in the region, the Kingdom of Bahrain did not
hesitate to cont ibute to and participate in the Group of Friends of Libya to
achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people and to ensure the unity and
territorial integrity of the country. Bahrain is also participating in the
international peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan, in support of its stability
and security in all political, economic, and security spheres, as well as in the
fight against international terrorism and piracy on the high seas. The
Kingdom of Bahrain also shares with the friendly American people their
heartfelt pain caused by the reprehensible terrorist attack of 9/11. Their
resilience and determination, however, helped in making their country a
safer place.

As a peace-loving nation, the Kingdom of Bahrain will remain faithful
to this Organization for its historic role supporting the sovereignty of our
country, and for its judiciary for ending interstate disputes all over the world
in support of stability and development in the world. We believe that
humanity and the international community have much to gain at the global
level from the contributions of Arab-Islamic civilization, as did other human
civilizations throughout history. The Arabs-Muslims, Christians, Jews and
followers of other religions and beliefs- can only coexist in a "Civil State"
that is based on tolerance. We speak here of the reality of the experience of
our country, Bahrain, with its characteristic openness and its civilization
deeply rooted in history which made it, from times immemorial, a symbol of
coexistence and interaction between these human contributions. Hence its
position as a cultural and spiritual centre of its natural and human
environment in the Arabian Gulf region since early times, a position upon
which it built its civil society and its modern renaissance in the field of
administrative organization, economic action, and educational and cultural

While the Kingdom of Bahrain appreciates the support of the United
Nations and its specialized agencies for its achievements, as evidenced by
the numerous awards it won in various human and social fields, we would
like to reaffirm our equally keen interest in the global issues exposed in the
Secretary-General’s annual report on the work of the Organization. We are
convinced that it is imperative for all Member States to cooperate on a
number of issues such as addressing climate change, international health,
drought, poverty alleviation, disarmament, non-proliferation of nuclear
weapons and combating terrorism. This is needed in order to address the
important challenges and problems facing humanity and create a new world
under the auspices of security, peace and progress.

Finally, we want once again to reaffirm our commitment to the
principles and objectives of the United Nations, and its constructive role in
consolidating peace, love and prosperity in the world.

May peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.