Barik Mhadeen
Jordan’s young and global leader
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It is not difficult for those who followed HRH Crown Prince Hussein’s address to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly to realise how empowering youth, the “young people of my generation” as Prince Hussein put it, has become one of the key tenets of the Jordanian leadership.
The Prince chaired the Security Council meeting two years ago, when the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security was unanimously adopted. That moment was historic for adopting the first resolution on youth and for having Prince Hussein chair the Security Council meeting, the youngest person to do so in the history of this powerful UN body.
The Crown Prince’s address did not solely advocate the cause of our generation, youth empowerment; his agenda was topped by direct concerns expressed by Jordanians and by the unprecedented realities the world at large is facing.
His point of departure was an examination of the changes taking place globally, which are leading to new avenues of human interaction.
His citing the fourth industrial revolution and the hyper-connectedness of the world should serve as a crucial reminder of the new changes policymakers must utilise to redefine the roles of their agents.
Acknowledging that these changed circumstances will lead to collective pressure to perform differently, the Prince brought the attention to the fact that globalisation is a growing trend and technological development is an anchor for our potential human advancement.
With clarity and sharpness, Crown Prince Hussein pointed to the distorted reality the world is living. He reminded of those who failed to step up to their universal human responsibility, highlighting how “last year alone, the world spent close to $1.7 trillion on arms, but fell short by less than $1.7 billion of fulfilling the UN appeal to support Syrian refugees and host communities in countries like Jordan”.
The Crown Prince emphasised the need to devise a reliable and genuine blueprint that enables human beings to restore their faith in global justice.
At, where attempts have been made to support Jordan in its efforts to manage the refugee crisis, it is also important to enhance the well-being of the most vulnerable, improve their social and economic circumstances in a sustainable and dignified way.
Jordan stressed, the Crown Prince said, that “kind words don’t balance budgets, build schools or bolster employment”. Wisdom, therefore, dictates that the international community, financial institutions in particular, abandon the misguided and lazy narrative of “donor fatigue” and “per capita basis”, and base their efforts, instead, on the firmer ground of morality, righteousness and compassion.
By highlighting how Jordan, a tiny country with limited natural resources, is one of the largest hosts of refugees in the world, Crown Prince Hussein highlighted Jordan’s moral path, which other countries with larger resources and greater capabilities should tread.
Indeed “our soldiers dodge bullets to let refugees into our country, not keep them out” at a time where larger countries “quibble over accepting thousands” of refugees, the Crown Prince reminded.
Despite the daunting challenges the Crown Prince laid out, he closed his remarks with optimism that “a global current that carries our common humanity to safer shores” can be unleashed if we break the “silence”.
With this optimism, he offered the solid foundation for our march forward.
Unwavering faith in progress and goodness has always been a hallmark of Jordan’s leadership, and the Crown Prince’s address at the UN General Assembly reflected that with utmost tact and composure.
The writer is a researcher with the human security team at the WANA Institute. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.
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