Activities of Secretary-General in Jordan, 5-7 April

16 April 2019

Activities of Secretary-General in Jordan, 5-7 April

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres landed in Amman from Benghazi, Libya, on Friday evening, 5 April.

On Saturday, the Secretary-General attended the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, where he gave the keynote address at the opening session.  (See Press Release SG/SM/19536.)

He also held bilateral meetings with the President of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian; the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah; and King Abdullah II ibn al Hussein of Jordan and Her Majesty Queen Rania.

While at the Forum, the Secretary-General visited the social media studio where he recorded a message that was published later on the World Economic Forum’s social media channels.

He later met students at the Baqa’a Camp, which is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  During his visit, which was recorded by local and international media, the Secretary‑General spoke to students in a science lab, a human rights class, the UNRWA Central Student Parliament and women entrepreneurs.

After his visit, he addressed the media at the school.

The Secretary-General said it was a very emotional moment for him to see young children learning about and discussing human rights and participating in a student parliament.  He said:  “To see that in 700 schools, 530,000 Palestine refugee children are learning not only about science and about mathematics or about Arabic, but also are learning about human rights, about democracy, about tolerance, making the conditions to be exemplary citizens — this is something that warms my heart.”  He also called on the international community to maintain the level of financing for UNRWA this year and to make sure that stability is guaranteed for 2020.  He underscored that, if the Agency’s programmes are stopped, it would have a devastating impact on the region.

The Secretary-General departed Amman on Sunday, 7 April, for New York, where he arrived the same day.

For information media. Not an official record.