Published: 5th February 2008

BAHRAIN is being urged to pump more money into the UN, which in turn says it can help the country improve its performance.

Bahrain currently gives the UN Development Programme $10 million (BD3.78m) every four years, but more is needed, says UN resident co-ordinator and UNDP resident representative Sayed Aqa.

A bigger budget would enable the UNDP to roll out additional programmes requested by non-governmental organisations and civil societies, he said.

Bahrain could use UN expertise to help improve its regional and global standing in terms of human development, said Mr Aqa.

"We can help Bahrain to be positioned regionally in the area of reforms and women's empowerment and parliamentary affairs," he told the GDN.

"We can also help to position them globally, which we haven't done before and the experience of Bahrain can benefit other countries."

"Bahrain can use us as a gateway to the world and also our development and expertise in the UN system."

Mr Aqa said the UNDP implemented programmes based on the development needs of the country.

He was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of a two-day UNDP workshop.

At the workshop, government officials acknowledged the support of the UNDP in advancing human development in the country.

They also expressed Bahrain's intention to strengthen co-operation with the UNDP and encouraged them to continue their programmes in the country.

"The UNDP has had many programmes, for example, in the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, parliament, Shura and in the Supreme Council for Women," noted Foreign Ministry Assistant Under-Secretary for political affairs and internal co-operation Ahmed Al Haddad.

Encourage

"They are doing a fantastic job and we encourage them to do more."

"We would like to enhance co-operation in the future and have more programmes to contribute to positive development in social and political fields."

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Nazar Al Baharna said the UNDP played an important role in helping countries in the region manage development issues, fight crime and work on social and international challenges.

The UN, he said, was also helping countries to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

"Bahrain, the government and its people welcome the assessment team sent to Bahrain and the government is supporting the UNDP in this scope," Dr Al Baharna said at the opening of the workshop.

"The main objective is that the regional offices work on developing regional policies and a framework for each country and involve non-governmental organisations and institutions."

"I would like to thank the UNDP offices in Arab countries in their great efforts in promoting development in these countries by implementing various programmes."

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