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National Dialogue launched under the theme "Our Bahrain, Our Unity"
02 : 38 PM - 02/07/2011

Manama, July 2 (BNA)—Parliament Speaker and Chairman of the National Consensus Dialogue Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Al Dhahrani has reiterated that all stages of the national dialogue will be transparent and objective.
He asserted that the people of Bahrain are facing a historic opportunity to overcome this critical stage through a national dialogue without any preconditions.

Its ceiling is consensus of all components of society and its goal is bringing together different opinions to share views and common denominators that contribute towards further development in all fields.

Al Dhahrani noted that after the conclusion of the dialogue sessions, moderators of the meetings are to submit the results to the Chairman of the National Dialogue, including points of agreement or disagreement, which are to be forwarded to His Majesty the King for reference to the constitutional institutions to take necessary action, each according to its competence.

This came during the opening of the national dialogue, which was held at the Isa Cultural Centre on Saturday morning.

During the opening session, Al Dhahrani presented a speech in which he briefed the attendees on the concept of consensus .

The basic principles of the dialogue, organizational aspects along with an explanation of the mechanism of interlocutors were presented by Mr. Khalid Ajaji Musharraf. The topics were reviewed by Mr.

Isa Abdulrahman the official spokesman for the National Dialogue. The opening has been witnessed by a large audience of invited guests and participants.

The National Dialogue sessions are scheduled to commence based on the main themes, on Tuesday evening. For his part, Mr. Isa Abdulrahman, the Official Spokesman for the National Dialogue, noted that the issues raised in the dialogue are based on four main area: political, economic, social, and rights in addition to a session devoted to foreign residents in Bahrain.

The Spokesperson pointed out that each area consists of sub-themes containing multiple topics that contained all the views put forward by the participants in the dialogue all of which will be discussed by the working groups. The Official Spokesman clarified that the political theme includes sub topics, which include political societies and the powers of the Shura and Representatives councils and a government that represents the will of the people and the electoral system, while the economic theme will include sub topics such as boosting economic competitiveness and the level of government services such as health, housing, education and pension systems, governance in public finance management and re-directing of subsidies and contribution to community development.

The Official Spokesman revealed that the social theme will include sub topics that include youth, civil society institutions, security and civil peace, while sub topics of the legal theme will address the rights of women, children and people with special needs, The judiciary system, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and human rights will also be among the topics. As for dividing interlocutors into task forces and the registration to participate, the Spokesman said that the subjects were divided into main themes, each of which includes sub topics where specific issues will be discussed by teams of up to fifty participants. The Official Spokesman has reiterated that for the dialogue to be productive, it has been taken into account that there is a presence by those who represent the issues or the relevant authorities of the sub topic, according to the numbers and standards for each of the representatives of the participating parties. The political societies chose to be represented by five candidates to attend the sub topic whose names were submitted to the Organising Committee. Talking about the representatives of the Shura and Representatives Councils, he noted that three people will be involved in each sub topic and have been identified by the authorities in each of the Councils, The Government also selected one person to participate in each sub topic. The Spokesman added that it has been taken into account that work is to be divided according to specialisations of the participants as stated in their resumes and their association with the nature of the sub topic and according to the registration priority, as registration will be opened on the day following the official opening of the National Dialogue.

Following is a the speech of the National Dialogue’s Chairman at the opening ceremony “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Our Lord! bestow on us mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!" Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you with a greeting of Islam, may peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you It is with great pride and pleasure that we meet together with love for the good of our dear country and we wish our dialogue all the success in achieving our aspirations and hopes for further progress and prosperity. Today in the Kingdom of Bahrain, this great land which embraced us all as one over the years, we are witnessing a critical stage of advancement and progress; a stage in which the unity of the people contributes to shaping the future of the nation, through a national dialogue, which was called for by His, Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain to share views and common denominators that could lead the reform process towards further development in various fields. The reform process in the Kingdom of Bahrain started ten years ago, and we cannot disregard the achievements made at this point of the country's history, but we will build upon them and move forward in shaping the bright future of Bahrain .The national dialogue is an opportunity for everyone to reach a consensus on further enhancing the reform process, based on our national principles and unity. We start without conditions or limits, our only condition is accepting one another, and our limit is the consensus among the segments of the Society . The co-existence, which brought together the people of Bahrain over the past years, cannot be the only evidence of their agreement and mutual understanding.

We believe that the consensus this dialogue would bring, is an approach that defines the people of Bahrain, who are still highly aware of its importance so as not to drag our country backwards.

We only want to stop in order to draw conclusions and learn lessons, as His Majesty the King has asserted, we are all aware of the consequences of aggravation. The National Dialogue, which begins today, is an opportunity for all of us to prove our responsibility towards our country, and reflect an honourable image of Bahrain to all, by setting a refined model for other nations in our patriotism and desire to march at a steady pace towards the future. The approach of a dialogue is neither strange nor new to the people of Bahrain, and the biggest proof of this is that the people of Bahrain were previously involved in setting the principles of the National Action Charter ten years ago. We look forward to a national and consensual dialogue among all participants, in which the positive interaction with such a critical phase of the country's history is an opportunity for the success of the dialogue and its outputs.

All participants in the National Dialogue can put forward their demands and promote their views for consensus.

Brothers, sisters, and children of Bahrain, today we begin a national dialogue with the help of Allah. The dialogue sessions will begin as per the main themes: political, social, economic, and rights, in addition to a sub-theme addressing issues of concern to residents.

Today a serious and responsible participation begins for building the future of the nation, by providing insights and perceptions that create general consensus, and build upon the national gains achieved over the past decade. The National Dialogue is a responsibility with which we deal with all transparency and objectivity, through all its stages, starting from His Majesty the King’s call for a comprehensive national dialogue, the invitations, identifying the themes and holding the sessions, all the way to the implementation of the dialogue’s outputs. After the conclusion of the dialogue sessions, moderators will submit the results to the Chairman of the National Dialogue, including the points of agreement or disagreement, then comes my responsibility to submit what has been agreed upon to His Majesty the King for reference to the constitutional institutions to take necessary action, each according to its competence.

My brothers, sisters, the people of Bahrain, today is a historic opportunity for all of us to overcome this critical stage of the nation’s history through the national dialogue, which we start without preconditions.

Our limit is consensus among all segments of the society. Our goal is bringing together different points of view to develop common visions that will contribute to further reform and development in all fields. In the name of Allah we begin, and Allah is the source of success, peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.” AOQ
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