MANAMA: Security and stability are crucial to successful development and social welfare, said the Premier yesterday. "Instability contravenes the goals of the UN which seek to promote global stability and foster justice and development."
He urged the UN to confront attempts to disrupt global security and stability and step up multilateral co-operation to settle disputes and defuse tensions.
His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa made the remarks as he received UN Under-Secretary-General and new UN Human Settlements Programme executive director Dr Joan Clos, on his first visit to Bahrain.
The Premier stressed the importance of the UN Human Settlements Programme in promoting the status of underdeveloped people.
He also reaffirmed Bahrain's resolve to bolster co-operation with the programme, urging global partnership to promote societies and help people in dire need of assistance.
"The demographic boom presents governments with further daunting challenges," he said, citing the case of Bahrain which suffers from galloping demography, territorial exiguity and scant natural resources.
He stressed Bahrain's success in promoting human development, enhancing the standards of living, citing particularly education, health, housing and decent employment opportunities.
"Preserving these hard-won achievements and maintaining high rates of growth - these are the real challenges today," he said, welcoming UN officials' visits to ensure citizens' living conditions match UN standards.
The Premier warned against politicising development and misusing democracy to derail growth and hamper social progress.
"Democracy and responsible freedom represent a cornerstone of development," he said.
Dr Clos updated the Premier on new orientations of the UN programme to enable developing countries to achieve sustained development.