To Abdul Raouf Rawabdeh
(Translated from Arabic)
In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,
Your Excellency Abdul Raouf Rawabdeh,
I am sending you true affection and deep appreciation. We have known you as one of the great, well-seasoned and loyal men of Jordan; a man with true affiliation and allegiance to your nation, daring and brave in upholding all that is right, a trustworthy Jordanian working diligently and loyally, known for competence and integrity in every position you have assumed throughout your long service to the Throne and nation.
I am addressing you at a moment which witnesses a new promising stage. I have assumed responsibility succeeding my great father, may God bless his soul. Along with the loyal Jordanian people, the late King has built a nation with sweat and has created an oasis of security, stability and great achievement. The circumstances of the present stage require cohesiveness and harmony, a united and mobilised march encompassing all efforts to finalise national construction, develop institutions and carry out fundamental reforms in all fields.
As the government of Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh has resigned, I entrust you with the formation of a government for the new stage, hoping that it will comprise efficient and distinguished leaders able to shoulder the heavy burdens. The foremost of these is revitalising the national economy in cooperation with the private and public sectors and enhancing the Jordanian citizen's capacity to meet the challenges of life. It will be a government that can solidify democracy, stress the rule of law, strengthen national unity, preserve national security and stability and manage the affairs of the nation in a climate of justice, integrity and good performance.
The present stage requires the setting of plans and clear approaches which determine the needs and concerns of citizens, the establishment of practical solutions to meet these needs and concerns, and the realistic application of these objectives within the nation's means.
- National unity is basic component of national empowerment. It fortifies the country against interference. Jordan has always served as a home for all Arabs, a model society, a cohesive and united family in good and bad times, a country where all people are partners in work and construction and committed to protecting the homeland and its interests. All Jordanians, men and women, regardless of their ethnic origin, religion or views, are equal before the law and partners in performing their duties and in enjoying benefits. Strengthening national unity comes about through upholding the rule of law for all, without discrimination. It is achieved by solidifying democracy, safeguarding human rights, and applying justice on sound and clear foundations. The government will achieve balance among the country's various regions and will apply the law firmly against all those who seek to disrupt national unity. The state, with its constitutional authorities, is the sole representative of the entire people, and it is responsible for protecting the rights of all. We are duty-bound to unite our efforts so that citizens can consolidate their ranks to build the nation, protect its security and stability and help shape a bright future, with God's will.
- Democracy serves as the best model for life, but it constantly requires deepening of its meanings. Our legislative institution is a source of pride for us and for our nation. It is a true representative of our people's will. We look forward to close cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities to protect the country's higher national interests, in accordance with the constitutional powers of each. We underline the need to facilitate the legislative authority in the execution of its duties, and we call for deepening of responsible dialogue with all national institutions within a framework of commitment to the principles of the Constitution, free of fanaticism and attempts to disregard others’ views. Wisdom is an objective of the faithful, and we all are partners in shouldering responsibility for the dear homeland and its progress.
- We take pride in our Jordanian judiciary, its independence and its performance. We call for supporting the judiciary through the development of legislation that ensures the judiciary's independence by improving the working conditions of judges. We must also promote legislation that governs the judicial process in order to facilitate and accelerate due process. Prompt justice is bound to enhance citizen's confidence and reassure them of their rights and freedoms.
- Our valiant armed forces are the pinnacle of our pride, as they protect the homeland and democracy. The armed forces reflect the bright image of our nation at the local, pan-Arab and international levels. It is incumbent upon your government to provide support, modern arms and care to the armed forces so that they can remain committed to their pledge, performing their sacred duty in defending the homeland, contributing towards protecting peace in the region, and rendering distinguished service in contributing to peace in various parts of the world. Our security services, which safeguard the nation and its citizens, require full support and the most modern means in stability for the nation and reassurance for its citizens. They enjoy the backing and appreciation of all Jordanian citizens.
- A public administration which can achieve objectives at lower cost and in less time is a wise and efficient administration which helps to create effective and specialised institutions acting as a team under efficient and able leadership marked by integrity. Such an administration places the public interest above all other considerations. It is one that is characterised by justice, initiative and creativity. It focuses on fieldwork, confronting problems before they arise and before they become too complicated to solve. This administration should be free of the ills of exploitation, favouritism, and manipulation. The public administration requires restructuring to prevent any overlapping of duty and duality and needs leaders and employees selected on the basis of efficiency, experience and integrity, free of factionalism and fanaticism. It also requires the modernisation of all procedures with the purpose of simplifying and facilitating people's access to services without extra effort and cost. Administrative and financial corruption destroys societies and weakens states and countries. Our public administration has constantly been marked by efficiency and integrity, has set examples through its good performance and achievements, and has made valuable contributions to the administration of other Arab societies. However, some pockets of dereliction, incompetence and unreliability have started to appear. If no action is taken to end this, such behaviour is certain to spread. This is something we cannot allow and we will counter it firmly. Thus the government is required to place controls and introduce measures that will restore the prestige of our administration and confront dereliction of duty and corruption with force. It should remove any element that has a tendency towards or encourages such negative behaviour, regardless of their position or responsibilities. The public administration should refer to our fair judiciary any persons who abuse or exploit public positions as well as those who try to amass fortunes or allow others to do so by exploiting their positions.
- Unemployment and poverty are two major concerns for the country, impeding growth and adversely affecting the nation's capabilities. They are also causing further suffering for citizens for whom we, as Hashemites, are constantly trying to provide an honourable life with all means at our disposal. Therefore, the government should make confronting these two problems a priority by focusing on comprehensive development, enhancing the role of the social aid funds, integrating their work and unifying their administration so that the social safety net is implemented in a serious manner. The government should conduct a practical and realistic study of the situation to determine the extent of the problem with a view to dealing with it, not waiting for complaints to arrive. Citizens have the right to work and they have the right to an honourable life. No obstacles or justifications should stand in the way the attainment of their rights. The government should act promptly, seriously and in accordance with a clear plan to replace foreign workers with Jordanians, and should accelerate the process of exporting a Jordanian labour force to brotherly countries.
- Jordan's economy is facing recession for different reasons. The national economic restructuring programme has realised many achievements, but it requires revision in light of changes and new developments. This should be done in cooperation with specialised regional and international institutions, which have expressed desire to help, and in conjunction with the private sector whose contributions and achievements enjoy our appreciation. This is required in order to deal with imbalances, create the appropriate investment climate, and unify the parties dealing with this sector. Restructuring is also necessary to ensure the fair distribution of national income to all sectors, to increase savings and rationalise consumption, boost production and exports, create new jobs, give due attention to tourism, transport and other services as well as to mineral resources, introduce plans for agriculture that can ensure better income for farmers acquire new types of crops that would boost farmers' income and consume less water, make available equipment for production and provide soft loans for the purpose. The privatisation process is in need of development by modernising its institutions and defining their policy in a transparent manner to safeguard public funds, and their use.
- Despite its achievements, the educational process is in need of constant development to raise its level and improve its output. The government should give due attention to national education and enhance the sense of national belonging. It should focus on dialogue in an atmosphere of moderation and tolerance, give due attention to educational technology, raise the proficiency of teachers, improve their living conditions, enhance the role of universities as minarets of creativity, free thinking and expression, free of fanaticism, and tutelage and turn out highly educated people able to show good performance that can contribute to the spreading of knowledge and national awareness.
- We need to give care to culture and the development of cultural institutions. This can attract competent persons who can tap into creative potential, which reflects our people's true image and their active role in national culture. Such elements should bear the sense of national belonging and uphold the values of righteousness and justice, opening the country to the cultures of the world rather than tending towards introversion.
- Our national media needs constant attention so that it truly reflects the country's character, its democratic march, its achievements, and the climate of responsible freedom in which it is living. Jordan is in need of an efficient media that spreads awareness and national guidance; one that can convey Jordan's message to the whole world through free and responsible press, characterised by seriousness, balance and credibility. We need broadcasting services which address the nation's concerns, reflect its actual situation, and attract people with honest and objective views regardless of their opinions and thoughts. This should take place within the framework of freedom and responsible expression that neither damages the country's values and achievements nor exploits the atmosphere of democracy in order to hurt it. We require a media that can evaluate with awareness and offer constructive criticism.
- This country takes pride in the eternal message of Islam. We, as Hashemites, take pride in this patrimony. Therefore, we must project a bright image of Islam and we must confront all attempts to distort it. We must give due concern to religious guidance with all that its stands for: values of cooperation, fraternity and affection free of bigotry. We must develop our mosques and their pulpits as a means for propagating God's teachings, wisdom and good morals, and we must have well-trained and fair preachers and we must take care of their affairs.
- Our health services are distinguished in the region. We need to give these services due attention and deal with any regression in such services and must work toward raising their efficiency and providing good health service to the public as close as possible to their places of residence. It is essential to re-examine the health policy in terms of institutions, capabilities, equipment and management. We must, in the near future, expand the health insurance umbrella in order to achieve comprehensive health insurance that would include all, especially those with limited income, to be able to enjoy ideal health care services. We must promote preventive medicine and give due concern to therapeutic tourism and provide facilities and organisation that would promote them in the service of the national economy.
- Our consumption of energy and water is on the increase. We import our energy, and our water resources are limited. We must intensify our search for new sources of energy, especially oil shale. We must find new water resources and build more dams, ration water consumption and speed up the installation of new water networks and wastewater treatment plants. Drought is of serious consequence to farmers and livestock breeders. Therefore concerned institutions should give utmost attention to farmers to help them overcome the adverse effects of drought.
- The environment is being damaged and it needs special attention that guarantees the development and application of legislation to protect the environment, to make available specialised and efficient personnel capable of carrying out serious fieldwork. We need to involve all private and public institutions and organisations in protecting soil, water and air from pollution, and protecting agricultural land from soil erosion and desertification. We need to protect nature reserves, create more forests, and undertake a comprehensive national reforestation effort.
- The youth are the future of the country, and it is essential to release their potential and direct them towards public and national service. Youth potential should be organised in collective frameworks that include all parts of the country and utilise the youths' spare time in activities that will be of use to them and the nation. Focus should be on education and vocational training with the objective of meeting the country's needs of trained labour to replace the foreign workforce. The professional associations and labour unions should play a leading role in promoting the trades and providing the best service to citizens. Athletic institutions need support and reorganisation to enhance their role in caring for the youth, releasing their potential and strengthening their national pride. The upcoming 9th Pan-Arab Games (Al Hussein Games) require distinguished efforts so that they are worthy of the name of the great, late King.
- The role of women has assumed added importance. The Jordanian women's role has developed through their participation in numerous social, political, and economic fields, making women an essential pillar in the country's development. Therefore we need to highlight this role, especially in rural regions and the Badia. We have witnessed phenomena that have aggravated the suffering of women and violated their basic rights. We look forward to witnessing amendments to legislation that currently deprives them of their rights or does them injustice, and we should provide them all facilities to help them carry out their role as partners in work and construction without any discrimination. Children are also in need of care and protection from violence, homelessness and abuse. We need social care institutions to ensure natural and balanced growth for children within the family and the society.
- Jordan has offered the Palestinians support and participation on the basis of fraternity and the one destiny. Jordan has played a prominent role in the Palestine issue since its inception until today and has stood by the Palestinian National Authority with all its might. My father, the late King Hussein, played a key role in helping to attain an honourable and just solution and to overcome all impediments they face. We will continue to support the Palestinians to help them regain their legitimate rights and establish their independent state on their national soil. We look forward to establishing distinguished relations between the two brotherly people at their free will, making these relations a model that can always be developed.
- Jordan has always and will be an integral part of the Arab nation and will be active in pan-Arab political action, seeking to achieve agreement and consensus and seeking to build cooperative ties among all Arab states. We re-emphasise the need for strong ties with all brothers based on affection, confidence, cooperation and mutual respect. The government must pursue dialogue with all Arab states, without exception, and promote our ties with them. We have witnessed the Arab countries support during the funeral of the late King, and we need to build on this support and safeguard higher Arab interests. We must keenly safeguard Arab countries' sovereignty without interfering in their internal affairs. We will continue to work to end the suffering of the Iraqi, Libyan and Sudanese people. We must stand firmly by our brothers in Syria and Lebanon to regain their occupied territories.
- Jordan enjoys a good reputation and respect from various countries of the world, a status that was achieved thanks to the efforts, credibility and diligence of the great, late King. The esteem in which Jordan is held is reflected in the world leaders’ description of the funeral of the 20th century. We should pursue efforts to activate our international relations in a framework of cooperation, joint interests and mutual respect. We must clarify Jordan's role in an objective and responsible manner in all regional and international forums.
- We need to develop and upgrade our diplomatic institutions by clearly defining its goals and duties, so that they guarantee efficient leadership with a true sense of belonging.
- Peace is our strategic option, and it is so for our Arab brothers. We seek a just and durable peace for all, on all tracks, based on justice and on international laws and conventions. We believe in peace as a means for security, stability and development. We will continue to insist on peace, as we are quite certain that the will and persistence of peoples will eventually overcome all obstacles until peace prevails throughout our region and helps it achieve progress and prosperity.
While reaffirming the need for the government to be committed to our directives and translate them into action, we express absolute confidence in this government as we await your recommended list of ministers.
Wishing you luck and success.
Peace and God's blessings upon you,
Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
4 March 1999