Bahrain is working with its fellow GCC countries to help resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict and ensure a safe and secure global environment in the long term.

The kingdom’s commitment to resolving the conflict through non-military means is one prong of the Manama Declaration issued yesterday, after the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly (CPUNGA) met for the first time ever outside the US.

“The meeting further emphasised that there can be no military solution to the conflict,” members of the CPUNGA noted in the declaration.

The document also “expressed grave concern for the growing humanitarian, economic, developmental, environmental, social and financial impacts of the war in Ukraine”.

President of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly Mogen Lykketoft highlighted how the ongoing conflict was moving the global focus away from other pressing concerns.

“We have also discussed the regional geopolitical concerns in MENA as a result of the conflict,” he added.

“We have also discussed how it has disrupted global efforts to combat climate change and work towards a greener future.”

The meeting, which was held at the Art Hotel and Resort in Amwaj, also discussed combating cyber crime which is now being considered part of UN’s goal to maintain international security.

The second prong of the declaration recognised the ‘rise of cyber threats’ and highlighted the need to “work together to develop effective measures to prevent and respond to cyber attacks, and build a more secure and resilient digital world that promotes technological innovation while mitigating its risks and challenges”.

“This recommendation will be sent to the General Assembly, and is meant to boost awareness around this subject,” said 61st President of the United Nations General Assembly Shaikha Haya bint Rashid Al Khalifa.

The 57th session president Jan Kavan acknowledged that the CPUNGA is not an official body of the UN, but owing to the past experience of its members, he added that it had the ear of the General Assembly.

Shaikha Haya said that having the meeting and declaration in Bahrain highlighted the importance of the kingdom geopolitically.

“It is a sign of how the kingdom symbolises the founding principles of the UN,” she added.

She also noted that there would be a follow-up meeting in South Korea in the next six months focused on combating cybersecurity.

The meeting was also attended by Miroslav Lajčák (72nd session president), Vuk Jeremić (67th), Srgjan Kerim (62nd), Han Seung-soo (56th), Joseph Deiss (65th) and UN Counter-terrorism Office director Dr Jehangir Khan.

Mr Seung-soo is the chairman of the council and Mr Kavan serves as the deputy council chairman.

Mr Kerim also noted that His Majesty King Hamad has proposed that a foundation be set up in Bahrain to support the vision of the CPUNGA, but did not disclose any details.

The declaration “expressed sincere gratitude to His Majesty King Hamad for his generous hospitality and welcomed his proposal to establish a foundation to support the work of the CPUNGA around the world.”

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