New York

14 February 2014

Note to Correspondents in response to questions on Bahrain

In response to questions from the media on Bahrain, the Spokesperson has the following to say:

The Secretary-General closely follows the situation in Bahrain.  He is concerned about reports of clashes between demonstrators and security forces today that have reportedly led to injuries.  He regrets that three years after the eruption of protests in Bahrain, tensions have persisted.

The Secretary-General has called consistently on all sides in Bahrain to exercise restraint and refrain from violent acts. He has urged the authorities to act in strict accordance with their international human rights obligations. He has unequivocally condemned attacks against Bahraini security personnel.     

The Secretary-General believes that all Bahrainis should work towards creating a conducive atmosphere for a genuine dialogue in the interest of peace, stability, reform and prosperity for all Bahrainis.   He notes in this regard the readiness of political actors in Bahrain to lay the foundation for a new round of dialogue.

The Secretary-General believes that a successful dialogue needs to be well prepared with clear ground rules and time frames.  All political constituencies and actors will need to participate freely in the dialogue for it to produce meaningful outcomes that respond to the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.