Forum to address political issues in Bahrain
Manama, November 28, 2012
More than 150 Bahraini intellectuals along with dozens of GCC delegates are set to meet at a forum in Bahrain to address the kingdom’s political stalemate, regional challenges and a possible GCC Union.
The two-day event, which starts on November 30, is being organised by the National Unity Assembly (NUA), said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
They will tackle issues regarding regional developments, the Arab Spring and the need to fast-track a regional unification during the conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Friday at 5.30pm and on Saturday from 9am until 7pm.
"We have sent out invites to all political groups, including the opposition, to participate in this high-level forum that will be attended by 25 regional experts and more than 150 participants from Bahrain," said forum organiser Yacoub Slaise, who is also an NUA member.
"It is important that these pressing issues are addressed at a platform where citizens can debate and even submit their recommendations. The need for political reforms, Bahrain's situation and challenges in forming the GCC Union are some of the key topics that will be raised and there will be some key recommendations at the end of the conference.
"This conference is planned by the National Unity Assembly ahead of the GCC annual summit that will be held in Bahrain next month,” he added.
Participants will also address Bahrain's situation and its political stalemate, while 12 speakers are expected to submit papers on regional development, the Arab Spring and the need to form a union.
Slaise confirmed that NUA head Dr Shaikh Abdullatif Al Mahmood will deliver an opening speech followed by other GCC delegates.
Dr Al Mahmood had earlier called for a swift transition from a Gulf Co-operation Council to a GCC Union that serves its people, protects the sovereignty of each country without interference to achieve freedom and democracy, and affirms the division of powers (legislative, executive and judiciary) in the states that choose such a ruling system.
In the economic field, the union would make GCC countries a powerful economic bloc with a gross domestic product exceeding $1.4 trillion and a single market strength of 42 million people, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal.
Other advantages of transitioning from a co-operative council to a union would include setting and realising important goals in terms of human development, especially in light of recognising the importance of the youth's contribution to development.
The union would also empower the GCC countries to more effectively deal with disasters and bolster the international standing of the countries in solving regional and international problems. – TradeArabia News Service