National strategies and alignment with SDGs
The Kingdom of Bahrain was one of the first countries to launch a national charter to align its national development goals with the UN SDGs as an internationally recognized benchmark for developmental progress and excellence.
The government prioritized economic diversification as a means of delivering higher standards of living, while striking a balance between economic, social and environmental aspects, and has implemented several strategies, programs and initiatives as outlined below.
National Action Charter
Since the beginning of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s reign in 1999, the Kingdom has made remarkable progress in advancing democracy, political affairs, economic and human development, and the preservation of natural resources and the environment, all as part of a comprehensive development process.
On February 14, 2001, the National Action Charter, which was approved by a consensus of 98.4% of the public, laid the foundations for a stable society. Governing through a constitutional monarchy, based on separation of powers, it guarantees personal and religious freedoms, freedom of expression and the Press, and freedom to form civil societies and unions, as well as equality of citizens before the law in rights, duties and other areas. On this basis, parliamentary elections were held.
Kingdom of Bahrain’s constitution
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s constitution affirms the principles of sustainable development, stating that the national economy is based on social justice, and harmony between public and private activities. Its goal is plan-based economic development and prosperity for citizens. It is also focused on protecting the environment and achieving a balance between safeguarding it and meeting the requirements of development, through laws, legislation, and the work of various organizations.
Bahrain Economic Vision 2030
Launched in 2008, Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 included 3 main principles, namely sustainability, fairness, and competitiveness. Its vision, in line with the aspirations of its citizens, is to achieve its strategic pillars, which incorporate the SDGs at its core. These objectives are of primary importance to the government and are linked to the implementation of the Government Action Plan.
Government Action Plan
The SDGs are among the most important foundations of the government’s action plans, which are the medium-term national plans for the implementation of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030. Bahrain linked its Action Plan (2015-2018) with the SDGs with 78% of them being covered. The Cabinet also instructed each ministry and government entity to align its own objectives, plans, and policies in the current Government Action Plan (2019-2022) with the SDGs.
Decision (21) of March 2015 regarding the establishment of the National Committee for Information, chaired by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and board members from ministries and government entities, as well as its amendments, were in line with the development agenda post-2015. It linked the agenda to programs and initiatives to achieve the Kingdom’s aspirations in determining the sustainability of its development process. As per Cabinet Decision 07-2468, a directorate was established at the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) to track the progress of achieving the SDGs and their indicators.
The Government Forum is an annual platform that brings together the Kingdom’s leadership and the senior management of government agencies, senior officials and Members of Parliament to discuss the government's role in the national development process, in line with the reform project of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The forum includes discussions on the Kingdom of Bahrain’s development agenda, and how to place citizens at the centre of all development plans.
The forum also aims to enhance the government's role in developing public services and promoting the public sector in order to achieve sustainable development and meet the needs and aspirations of citizens. Its outcomes form the basic pillars of the Government Action Plan and support the requirements of the next phase.