With world at epic crossroads, UN seems like it’s on ‘silent’ mode, Jordan tells Assembly

Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-second session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

21 September 2017 – While the United Nations is “our global conscience,” Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of Jordan, said today that for too many in his country and elsewhere trying to do good, it sometimes feels like the world’s conscience is on 'silent' mode.

“It's time to break the silence and start finding answers. In doing so, we can unleash a global current that carries our common humanity to safer shores,” said the 23-year-old Crown Prince, addressing the General Assembly two years after he chaired a Security Council meeting which adopted an historic resolution on ‘youth, peace and security,’ aimed at empowering young people to participate in peace efforts.

“Today, I stand before you […] as a member of the largest generation of young people in history [with] the world at an epic intersection, driven by the confluence of deepened globalization and disruptive technologies,” he said, and amid such seismic changes, young people are asking, among other questions: In which direction does our collective moral compass point, and can it guide us safely to justice, prosperity and peace for all?

Drawing on the experience of his own country to explore those issues, he noted that Jordan has been affected by border conflicts, as well as by the global financial crisis and the energy crisis. Speaking about the direct cost of the Syria crisis on his country, which has been hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees, he said that crisis is now consuming more than a quarter of the Jordan’s budget.

“Housing, food, energy, healthcare, education, jobs: all are under pressure,” he added, underlining that the country is not turning its back on people in need, but needs answers for its youth.

“How can it be that a country as small as ours struggles in the face of such crushing adversity, only to be told that its friends are suffering from donor fatigue? Financial institutions often remind us that on a per capita basis, we are a top recipient of aid. Yet, on a per capita basis, few countries have endured as many external shocks or contributed to global peace and security as Jordan has,” he said.

The sad reality is that war economies are thriving to the benefit of a few, while real economies are suffering to the detriment of all. “It just doesn't add up,” he said, calling on the international community to start asking tough questions, work harder to involve young people in finding the answers to bolster the values that anchor global citizenship today.


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