Pursuant to articles 22, 23 and 24 of the Legislative Decree No. 55 for the year 2002 on the Shura Council internal rules and after revision of the proposal applications filed by the ladies and gentlemen members of the Shura Council regarding membership of the task specific committees, and following coordination between these applications in accordance with the desires of the ladies and gentlemen the members of the Council and with due regard to their interests and jurisdictions, the Council’s Office has decided in its meeting held on 24 December 2002 to form the task specific committees of the Council.
The Council may, in case of need, set up temporary committees to study a specific issue and such temporary committee will expire upon expiration of the purpose for which it has been formed, pursuant to the provisions of the second paragraph of article 21 of the Shura Council internal rules.
The parliamentarian friendship committees are considered a form of proper parliamentarian communications as they proactively contribute to promoting the good relations with the various parliaments. They also extend solid bridges for cooperation and consideration of the joint issues and developments and creation of a conduit of parliamentarian dialogue and understanding. Therefore, the National Council in the Kingdom of Bahrain embraces the formation of parliamentarian friendship committees for the purpose of boosting the ties of friendship and introduction of the Kingdom’s role in all fields in general and the parliamentarian field in particular. Such parliamentarian rapports will contribute to the creation of opportunities amenable to building synergy and coordination of regional and international issue in the parliamentarian circles. Also, the friendship committees constitute a proper venue for exchange of experiences with the countries with long history in democratic life in order to strengthen and nurture the representation practice.
Mechanism for formation of friendship committees:
The Executive Committee of the Parliamentarian Section will be tasked at the beginning of each legislative round with the process involving the formation of the friendship committees and distribution thereof among the countries, taking into consideration a number of parameters such as the language and the specialization. The number of the committee members will not exceed 8 members on the understanding that the Executive Committee will prepare a special program on the works and activities of the friendship committees establish their financial estimates. For this reason, it is advisable that the Gulf Friendship Committee combine all chairmen of the committees in both councils or else one of them as may be based on the vision for the committee. Considering the importance of this committee, the Chairman of the committee must be First Deputy of the Speaker of the Shura Council or the First or Second Deputy of the House of Representatives.
It is also preferable that the Arab Friendship Committee be headed by the First and Second Deputy of the Speaker of the Shura Council.
A chairman shall be appointed for each other friendship committee based on the academic credentials or age so that such committees will hold not less than coordination meetings in a single legislative round.
The Executive Committee will formally approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and inform it of the visitation projects, the persons to meet and the issues to be discussed.
Objectives of the Friendship Committees:
1- Strengthen relations between two parliamentarian assemblies through acquaintance with the nature of their operations, exchange of experience and information by means of bilateral meetings and constructive dialogues.
2- Establish outstanding personal relationships between the members of the executive authority in the state for the purpose of boosting the ties with the parliaments of sisterly and friendly countries, achieving the greatest measure of cooperation and coordination in the international parliamentarian circles and discussion of the various political, social, economic and financial issues of interest to the two countries.
3- Acquaintance with the existing legislative institutions, aspects of organizational development and civilized and cultural advancement in each country.
4- Mutual acquaintance with the efforts exerted in the service of the issues of mutual interest.
5- Display and explanation of the just causes of each country and support of the foreign policy of the state, which is known by the name of “parliamentarian diplomacy”. This is to be done by meeting the leadership of the countries which the members of the committee visit and dialogue with the parliamentarian blocks which contribute to the formation of governments in democratic countries.
Competences and duties of the parliamentarian friendship committees:
1- Preparation and readying for the members of the council who participate in the friendship committees formed form other parliamentarian assemblies.
2- Opening a file for each friendship committee between the Council and the other parliamentarian assemblies. Such file will contain the names of the committee members, date of the committee formation in addition to a log of its minutes and recommendations and any other documents related to the committee.
3- Provision of information and data on the systems and rules of the joint sessions of the councils in the friendship committees and any other information that my help in facilitating the performance of the Council’s work in those committees.
4- Tracking the developments affecting the activities of the friendship committees.
5- Reception of documents and letters related to the exchanged visits between the friendship committees and completion of the procedures required in connection therewith.
6- Generation of reports and letters related to the activities of the friendship committees in preparation for submitting them to the High Authority.
7- Participation in drafting the speeches delivered by the members of the Council in the meetings of the friendship committees.
Role of the friendship committees in promoting parliamentarian diplomacy:
1- Consolidate the role and status of the Kingdom of Bahrain in all international circles through the visits exchanged by the friendship committees.
2- Boost and support the official position and formal diplomacy of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
3- Sign joint cooperation protocols with many countries in a way conducive to realization of the objectives and interests which have positive returns on the Shura Council and the House of Representatives and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
4- Strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation between the Shura Council and the House of Representatives on the one hand and the various parliamentarian assemblies of the countries on the other hand and coordinate with parliamentarians in the regional, Arab and international parliamentarian circles and organizations.
5- Take advantage of the experience of the countries with established parliamentarian experience and work on the promotion of the representation practice.
6- Consolidate and boost the tenants of democracy, freedom, the right of people to a safe and secure life and inculcation of the principles of international peace and security and respect of the sovereignty of the laws.
Mechanism of the modus operandi of the parliamentarian friendship committees:
The friendship committees will pay periodic visits to several countries, usually during the parliamentarian recess. Each committee will draw up a work plan and a time table for such visits, indicating the reasons of the visit, the most important topics that the committee expects to discuss and the benefits sought from such visits.
At the end of its mission, each friendship committee will submit a detailed report on the visit and the most prominent results attained. The committee will submit a joint cooperation protocol which will be executed by the two councils.