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  GCC Secretary General participates in Bahrain Visions Forum: “Shared Vision Towards a Successful, Sustainable Future”

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His Excellency Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), participated in Bahrain Visions Forum, under the slogan: ‘Shared Vision Towards a Successful, Sustainable Future.’ The forum was held on Thursday, 27 September 2018. It was organised by the Kingdom of Bahrain in partnership with the International Security Institute (ISI), on the side of the UN General Assembly 73rd meeting.

Other participants included His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Mohammad Ibrahim al-Mutawa, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; and His Excellency Ahmad Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, as well as many UN officials, nations’ representatives and ambassadors, diplomats, and journalists.

In his speech before the forum, the GCC Secretary General thanked and praised the government of Bahrain for organising this important forum, pointing out the unique opportunity it provides to explore visions and aspirations of the future, renew and broaden our thinking, and aspire to new horizons for our region and its people.

Al-Zayani said his vision of the region’s future relies on what he called ‘solidarity and mutual dependence,’ and the shared vision for security, stability and prosperity. He emphasised how important it is for the region to embrace its people of all religions and sects, for them to live in peace and thrive through sustainable security and stability. He also stressed the importance of further thinking about the challenges the region faces today and moving from putting out fires to building new things and adopting a vision which could advance the region’s governments and peoples, just like what Europe has done in the past decades, creating a region of sustainable peace, prosperity and stability.

His Excellency the Secretary General pointed out the stability and prosperity Europe has achieved. He said that after centuries of conflict and competition, including two world wars that killed millions, Europe’s leaders finally realised the value of aligning national interests on national and regional levels. In other words, they realised the importance of ‘solidarity and mutual dependence.’

He added that the Marshall Plan was the catalyst to rebuild the European continent after World War II. While the price was heavy, long-term political, economic, social and, above all, security gains have been worth every penny. He explained that Europe achieved cooperation and solidarity between European nations by aspiring to shared goals and values.

The Secretary General affirmed that developing a long-term vision with a robust plan to support this vision is not enough. Participating nations must adopt this vision and work hard to convince opponents and sceptics to join this vision. This requires working on making the vision very convincing and compelling, while emphasising that those who do not want to be part of it stand to face regional and international losses and marginalisation. Al-Zayani stressed that this vision can be a starting point of solidarity and the hope of people of the region, who will feel true optimism.