Welcome Message from Dr. Raed Mohammed BenShams, Director General of BIPA

On behalf of the Institute of Public Administration (BIPA), it is a great honour for us to host the 29th International Congress of Administrative Sciences, in the Kingdom of Bahrain from 1 – 6 June 2013 under the theme “The Futures of Public Administration: leadership and professionalism.” This conference is the biggest professional and scientific gathering of Administrative Sciences related to government policies and public administration in the world, and is jointly organized by the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) and the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS), every 3 years.

The honour to host the conference is a responsibility we welcome and we stand committed to delivering a great event on counts of both program and hospitality to our participants and guests.

Bahrain, the beating heart of the Arabian Gulf and the capital of Arab culture – this small island has achieved significant development in the field of public administration and public policies. It has led the way in the establishment of an effective and efficient public sector premised on professionalism and accountability.

In seeking to organize the IIAS/IASIA 2013 Joint Congress, BIPA is endeavoring to position the Kingdom in the middle of progressive public administrative agendas. This congress will be beneficial to all parties on many counts: For BIPA, it will help establish a localized public administrative agenda and bring the thought of world-class thinkers to bear on the problems of the region. For IIAS/IASIA, it will put it in contact with a new reality of public administration that both organizations have only tangentially engaged so far.

The Kingdom of Bahrain, also called the pearl of the Arabian Gulf and the land of immortality, is an archipelago of low lying islands located at the heart of the Arabian Gulf, off the eastern coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Bahrain has a history of civilizations that date back more than 5,000 years. Bahrain was the ancient site of the immortal land of Dilmun, and a religious centre for ancient Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians at different times, Bahrain’s strategic location has ensured that it maintain a heritage of pluralism and diversity.

With centuries upon centuries of human habitation packed into one compact archipelago, many legends have enveloped the land of Bahrain. One such example is the historic reference to Bahrain as the Island of Eternity – a result of the multitude of ancient burial grounds found throughout the island, before modern archaeological findings explained them to be a legacy of the Dilmun era.

The writings of the ancient Sumerians refer to Dilmun as a pure and sacred place in which sickness and death do not exist – a land like paradise full of sweet water springs. Bahrain does in fact have freshwater artesian and under seabed springs, rich in minerals and especially fluoride, known locally as sweet water.

These have sustained life here since the Ubraid civilization of Neolithic times 6000 years ago. The sweet water springs may be the basis for the legend of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian epic about a quest for immortality from the flower of life (the pearl) which leads to Dilmun, the “land of two seas”.

From the mists of times to a vibrant present, Bahrain thrives under a stable and prosperous government, which has evolved throughout the 20th Century into a constitutional monarchy in the 21st Century.

Today, known by its modern Arabic name, “Bahrain,” in reference to the “two seas” or the phenomenon of two waters – sweet water springs and salty sea, its landscape is a tapestry of marvellous old sites and colourful traditional markets dotted between skyscrapers and contemporary urban living. While relatively small in population, land area and resources, Bahrain has achieved a high level of social and economic development over a short period of time.

The Kingdom of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 came to draw a road map for us to start our career in the Institute – Institute of Public Administration (BIPA) was established by Decree No. (65) for the year 2006 issued by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, in June 28, 2006.

The Institute aims to develop the public administration and training in the ministries and governmental organizations, and contribute to the preparation and training of personnel, in accordance with the training needs and development programs, research and consultancy work approved by the board of directors of the Institute, so as to ensure the upgrading of public administration and to support economic and social development plans.

The Institute was able, during the last period, to translate the ambition to the reality on the ground, the reality in which we live in today with you at the 2013 Joint Congress IIAS-IASIA.

Finally, we welcome you here with us where civilization embraces evolution in the land where all peoples of various nationalities and stripes meet and live in warmth and homogeneously and enjoy security and stability with Bahrainis known of their hospitality, generosity and kindness that characterize Arab originality for this country, which is open to the world in its various languages.