Crown Prince delivers Jordan’s address at UN General Assembly
Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II delivered Jordan’s address at the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Thursday.
In the speech, Crown Prince Al Hussein outlined the unprecedented challenges facing the “largest generation of young people in history”.
“Our hyper-connected world is at once bringing people closer together and widening the divisions between them,” His Royal Highness said, noting that “the young people of my generation are asking… In which direction does our collective moral compass point, and can it guide us safely to justice, prosperity and peace for all?”
Young people, the Crown Prince said, are often dismissed as idealists, “but idealism is not foolish; it is fearless. It invigorates us to lift our reality to the level of our higher ideals, not compromise our ideals in the face of adversity”.
His Royal Highness then posed “some rudimentary questions” about the current state of the world, using Jordan as a launch-pad.
Highlighting the external shocks and crises Jordan has weathered over the years, the Crown Prince cited the wars in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and worsening prospects for peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as the global financial crisis and several energy crises.
“I do not know of any other country in recent history that has gone through such an onslaught of crises and found itself surrounded by so many conflicts through no fault of its own,” His Royal Highness continued, noting that Jordan is one of the largest hosts of refugees in the world despite its limited resources.
“Yet in the face of these daunting challenges, we did not back down from our ideals, or our values. We did not turn our backs on people in need,” the Crown Prince stressed, adding that Jordan did not falter in its reform efforts.
Acknowledging that Jordan still needs to advance its education system, enhance integrity and accountability, improve the investment climate, and support young entrepreneurs to effectively reduce unemployment; His Royal Highness said aid is “a necessary runway” for political and economic reforms to fully take off.
Despite these challenges, Jordan has steadfastly supported regional and international peace efforts and the fight against terrorism, while also calling for inclusiveness and moderation, the Crown Prince asserted.
“We have remained steadfast in our commitment to a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution,” His Royal Highness stressed, highlighting Jordan’s commitment to the Hashemite Custodianship of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
“We have done the right thing, over and over again, because that is what real integrity means, but how has the world reacted?” the Crown Prince asked.
“No doubt, Jordan is regularly praised for its humanitarian and moral stance… but kind words don’t balance budgets, build schools or bolster employment,” His Royal Highness stressed.
Young Jordanians, the Crown Prince continued, are wondering how Jordan is left alone to struggle “in the face of such crushing adversity” under the pretext of donor fatigue.
“What does it say about our common humanity, when last year alone the world spent close to 1.7 trillion dollars on arms, but fell short by less than 1.7 billion in fulfilling the UN appeal to support Syrian refugees and host communities in countries like Jordan?”
There are no good answers, His Royal Highness asserted, noting that “the message to the youth of Jordan and our region is loud and clear: there is no shortage of money for fighting evil, but the appetite for rewarding virtue is nearly non-existent.”
“The United Nations is our global conscience, but for too many in my country, and others around the world trying to do good, it sometimes feels like the world’s conscience is on ‘silent’ mode,” the Crown Prince said, calling for breaking the silence to “unleash a global current that carries our common humanity to safer shores”.
“Our commitment to peace, moderation and international cooperation is uncompromising. Water a thirsty fruit-bearing tree or continue to add fuel to a raging fire? The world has a choice to make,” His Royal Highness concluded.