On behalf of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, it is my great pleasure to present this report which showcases our collective results for 2022. The report not only reflects the efforts of the United Nations in Bahrain, but is also a key accountability tool for UNCT towards the Government of Bahrain, UNCT key donors and partners, and other national stakeholders as it provides valuable insights on the progress made in support of the country’s national development priorities and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the umbrella of the Government of Bahrain and the United Nations Strategic and Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.
In 2022, UNCT continued to support the country as it made further positive strides despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of a historic government reshuffle, the Ministry of Sustainable Development – a first in the region – was established demonstrating the country’s commitment to place the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs at the forefront of national programmes and initiatives. The Ministry has already become a key partner of UNCT as a result of our collective contributions in preparation for the country’s second Voluntary National Review that will be presented at the High-Level Political Forum in July 2023.
During the Transforming Education Summit spearheaded by the United Nations Secretary-General to address the impact of COVID-19 on the multiple facets of education, the Government presented 21 commitments to strengthen its education system. The commitments stem from a comprehensive national consultation process in 2022 which was implemented with UNCT technical guidance and advice.
On the human rights front, the Government submitted its national report as part of the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. At the request of the Government, UNCT supported the process by sharing best practices for the development of its national submission. We also continued to promote human rights as well as gender equality and women’s empowerment, disability inclusion, youth engagement in development processes and the protection of vulnerable groups throughout the year.
I reiterate our commitment to supporting the country's efforts towards achieving its national development priorities and the SDGs as we continue to implement our Cooperation Framework. In this regard, to further strengthen our support and advance a key facet of the United Nations development system reform, we have initiated discussions with the Government to establish a pooled country fund which we expect will enhance the implementation of the Cooperation Framework through catalytic funding.
I once again trust that this report provides valuable insights and serves as a useful resource for all our partners and stakeholders on the work of UNCT in Bahrain in 2022. I also hope that it presents further avenues of engagement in 2023 and beyond.
Khaled El Mekwad
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bahrain
The United Nations Country Team in the Kingdom of Bahrain
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in the Kingdom of Bahrain is composed of representatives of 21 United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies working jointly under the leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinator to support the country in achieving its development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) also works in close coordination with UNCT and is the principal source of information about the United Nations system in the country.
The UNCT conducts its work in line with the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations Strategic and Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (SCF) 2021–2024. This document is the most important instrument for planning and implementation of UNCT development activities in the country. Anchored in national development priorities and the 2030 Agenda, SCF outlines four strategic directions corresponding to four outcomes, including several outputs. A steering committee, including representatives of the Government and the United Nations, provides strategic oversight and guidance in the implementation of SCF.
The UNCT is supported in its work by several coordination structures, including four results groups – one per SCF outcome – and two thematic groups: the Disability Inclusion Task Force and the United Nations Network on Migration. An Operations Management Team, a United Nations Communications Group, and a Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Task Force further support UNCT in their respective areas of focus. Individually and collectively, UNCT coordination mechanisms contribute to the coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations.