By JT – Sep 22,2017 – JORDAN TIMES
HRH Crown Prince Hussein addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)
AMMAN – Delivering Jordan’s address at the 72nd Session of UN General Assembly on Thursday, HRH Crown Prince Hussein said that although Jordan is proud of its good reputation worldwide, “kind words don’t balance budgets, build schools or bolster employment”.
He said that he stood before the gathering not only as a representative of Jordan, but also as a member of the largest generation of young people in history, which is facing various challenges, foremost of which is unemployment, which, he said, requires drastic improvement to the investment climate, enhancing integrity and accountability, advancing the educational system and supporting young entrepreneurs.
“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?”
His Highness then posed “some rudimentary questions” about the current state of the world, using Jordan as a launch-pad.
“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?
“What does it say when trillions are spent waging wars in our region, but little to take our region to safer shores?
“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”.
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.
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”.
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.
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… We have done the right thing, over and over again, because that is what real integrity means,” the Crown Prince told world leaders.
He cited Jordan’s upholding of its duties as Hashemite Custodians of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, continued contribution to the international war against terrorism and its promotion of the true values of Islam.
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.”
“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.
On Friday, His Majesty King Abdullah, who headed the Jordanian delegation to the global meeting arrived back home, the Royal Court said in a statement.
On the sidelines of the event, the King held talks with several world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, on bilateral ties and regional issues.