By Suha Al Subeihi
The University of Jordan (UJ) President Prof. Azmi Mahafzah and the Director of Raoul Wallenberg of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), Mr. Morten Kjaerum, signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of justice sector and higher legal education.
Signed in a special ceremony at the Swedish Ambassador's residence in Amman, the MoU aims to establish joint cooperation between the two parties for the provision of specialized academic and technical programs in the justice sector and higher legal education targeted for Syrian refugee students in Jordan.
According to the MoU, the two parts will extend mutual support to develop specialized academic and capacity building programs in the justice sector and higher legal education within a human rights framework.
The MoU will allow for the development and exchange of knowledge in the in the field and the organization of joint meetings to exchange knowledge on topics of mutual interest and capacity building. It will also permit the promotion of synergies between research and practice to ensure a highly skilled judiciary.
"It's time to start preparing the young Syrian refugees to take hold of their future and to rebuild their country," Prof. Mahafzah said in his address at the signing ceremony, adding that "this could be only accomplished through access to higher education and capacity building".
Mahafzah pointed out that the project "aligns with UJ's response and initiative towards the Syrian crisis," reaffirming the University's commitment to working with all stockholders to facilitate the provision to higher education to refugee students.
Mahafzah stated that UJ is currently the home of 240 undergraduate, 43 master, and 5 doctoral Syrian students, continuing that UJ seeks to play a more active role and "to be a global institution that contributes to betterment of Mankind as a whole".
In his welcoming speech, the Swedish Ambassador to Jordan Eric Ullenhag highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two countries in various fields, hailing Jordan's humanitarian response towards the Syrian refugee crisis.
Furthermore, the MoU is part of a project dubbed "Higher legal education and capacity-building for Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan", implemented by the Institute.
Yasar Abduh, Senior Programme Office at RWI's MENA Office delivered a presentation in which she explained the Project's objectives and target groups, clarifying that it aims at creating a new generation of legal practitioners and human rights defenders.
Abduh pointed out that the program comes to complement services provided to the refugees, and to empower them to practice law and become positive change makers when they go back home.
The Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Morten Kjaerum gave an introductory speech about the institute which is named after Raul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat known for humanitarian work in Hungary at the end of the Second World War.
In his intervention, Director of UJ's Center for Strategic Studies, Prof. Musa Shteiwi, pointed to the Center's interest in the refugees issue through studies, research and other activities. He also referred to the recently launched Professional Diploma in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, which aims at a deeper understanding of the consequences of human displacement on Jordan in particular, and the region in general.