His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has urged to build a global partnership to bridge the existing urban gap among countries and peoples, being the best way to reduce the political challenges posing a threat to global security and stability.
He added that the nature of the threats facing the world required all parties of the International Community to respond dynamically and develop a future vision aiming to enhance urban development according to more equitable standards from which poor and under-developed countries can benefit.
In a message to the world marking the World Habitat Day 2014, to be observed on Monday under the theme "Voices from Slums", HRH Premier affirmed that the International Community is morally responsible to take the initiative and help poor countries to develop their neighbourhoods and regions according to proper plans, and improve the living conditions of their citizens and ensure them decent life and social welfare.
"The World Habitat Day is an opportunity to remind the world of the main goal of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all," he said.
He stressed that collective efforts to promote security and address the scourge of conflicts hitting many regions in the world would be among the first steps to achieve comprehensive development, pointing out to the interrelation between security reinforcement in countries and their ability to enhance their development.
He said that terror groups and their ability to move across borders represented the "most serious threat to global peace and security and human existence in itself, and therefore, all what has been achieved by humanity in development and progress will be at risk unless international efforts are coordinated and unified stances are adopted."
He urged the International Community to join ranks to achieve "development for a better world", being the main goal that has to be attained, stressing that the scourge of conflicts has left victims and destruction and wasted resources that could have been used to serve development goals.
"It is high time everyone listened to the voice of reason and wisdom, and turned the pages of conflicts and destruction in favour of complementarity and cooperation to meet peoples' aspirations for prosperity and sustainable development in various parts of the world for the sake of the future generations," he added.
He underscored the success of the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad Al Khalifa, to achieve high levels of decent and quality living standards for the citizens thanks to its "realistic" vision on sound urban planning.
He pointed out that the development projects implemented by Government of Bahrain in the fields of housing, health, education, communications and infrastructure catered to the current and future needs of the citizens so as to ensure lasting and sustainable economic growth and achieve social stability.
He reiterated Bahrain's support to all international efforts aiming to upgrade the conditions of poor peoples and enhance their potentials to meet the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals, highlighting the role of the private sector and civil society organsiations in backing the governments' efforts towards a world free of poverty and destitution.
He emphasised that the political challenges and the chaos and insecurity gripping some countries represented the main obstacles facing the UN-Habitat in dealing with the decline of growth rates in those countries and how to help them regain the path of development re-build what had been destroyed regarding basic needs.
He urged the International Community to step up its cooperation and adopt a comprehensive development approach to develop poor neighbourhoods by enhancing their production potentials, reducing unemployment rates and create suitable conditions for their residents to be creative and innovative.
He pointed out that population growth represented a direct threat to the urban development efforts of countries, which, he said, requires programmes and mechanisms to take advantage of that increase and make it a source of power and a catalyst of development.
He called for the need to adopt new mechanisms of sustainable urban development based on a thorough study that identifies the current situation in countries, forecasts future problems and put forward the right solutions and alternatives that address obstacles impeding sound development.
HRH the Prime Minister lauded the UN-Habitat's achievements and support to international efforts aiming to achieve sustainable urban development and improve the living standards of peoples across the world.