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Speeches from the Throne

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Speech from the Throne by His Majesty King Abdullah II
Opening the Fourth Ordinary Session of the 13th Parliament
Amman, Jordan
25 November 2000

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,

Prayers and salutations be upon the Faithful Hashemite Arab Prophet Mohammed,

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you,

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

In the name of God, and with His blessings, we inaugurate the fourth session of the Thirteenth Parliament. We pray that the Almighty will grant us His blessing and support in shouldering our responsibilities, fulfilling our duties, serving our good people and realising their aspirations for progress and prosperity.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

The convening of this session of your august assembly is further evidence of the soundness of our democratic process. It emphasises our joint commitment to consolidating this process and advancing it to a level that meets the noble aspirations of our people for building a brighter future characterised by development and dignity. On this occasion, we reiterate that our foremost priority is the achievement of comprehensive development. We will do this by improving the performance of our economy and modernising the institutions of the state, with a view to ensuring that the positive results of this process are reflected in the quality of life for our citizens.

The realisation of this vision requires that we work with vigour and diligence to equip Jordanian citizens with the necessary skills, and create the right environment for releasing their creative talents. We also have to reconsider laws and legislation that hamper the development process. We have to effect new laws that will enable us to modernise state institutions and agencies and enhance their ability to achieve.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

In the past year, your august assembly completed a number of laws and legislation. As I thank you for these achievements, I stress the pride I take in your assembly and the noble responsibilities it shoulders. At the same time, I look forward to more achievement, of which you are capable, and to more co-ordination and co-operation among the three branches of government. We are all partners in shouldering responsibility. We have to work hand in hand and with team spirit, placing the interests of the state above all other interests and considerations.

Our citizens are the objective of this vision and the tools for realising it through their role in electing members of the Chamber of Deputies. The true sense of belonging necessitates that all citizens exercise their right to elect their representatives when the next elections are held, on the basis of the ability of candidates to implement this national vision and turn it into a tangible reality.

The world around us looks with admiration at the achievement of this country over the past few decades. This must be a strong incentive for us to continue the march, face the challenges, modernise and introduce reform. We must make positive changes with confidence and hope, with strength and determination. It is time to move beyond pessimism, to overcome fear of change, and to stop underestimating our accomplishments or what, God willing, will be accomplished.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

Our impartial judiciary has our full confidence. My government will safeguard it and support its independence. It will provide it with all it requires to fulfil its noble mission through the work of the Royal Commission that we set up for this purpose. Justice is the basis of governance. It is the guarantor for the rule of law and for equality among people. It preserves the values of tolerance as well as solidarity and complimentarity among members of society.

As for our armed forces and security departments, they are the shield of the nation and the symbol of its dignity. They are the ever-alert watchful eye and the strong arm of the homeland. They are a source of pride for us, and they enjoy our full confidence.

My government will provide them with all they need to develop their abilities and resources, in light of the rapid advances in the areas of preparedness and readiness.

We emphasise before your esteemed assembly that human rights and freedom, human dignity, security and stability are interconnected elements for building a strong Jordan, a state of law and order, an oasis of freedom and democracy and respect for human rights.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

Infrastructure has spread to all parts of Jordan. My government will expand this network and guarantee fairness in its distribution. Remote areas that had received less attention will be given a special priority. Requirements for their development will be provided. The agricultural sector will be supported by all possible means in order to consolidate citizens' sense of belonging to the land, to which they sacrifices blood and for which they sweat.

Water is at the top of our national priorities. My government implemented a series of measures aimed at finding new water resources, and utilising our water resources in a practical and feasible manner. The government will complete the Disi water project and will implement programmes for water desalination.

My government will also pay special attention to the health, transport, roads and construction sectors as well as the environment. It will organise the telecommunications sector and further train human resources in this field. My government will also ensure the best utilisation of tourism sites, increase investment in this sector and preserve ancient sites.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

The media are a reflection of the homeland to citizens and to the world. My government will develop this important sector within a framework of respect for freedom, different opinions and intellectual pluralism. This framework will also ensure commitment to higher national interests.

The cultural movement will continue to receive the necessary attention. Writers and scholars will be supported and talent and achievement will be recognised. Many centres that will help promote cultural endeavours will be set up.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

We are at the threshold of the 21st century. Many new responsibilities towards our society and the world at large are thus emerging. We have to consolidate our ability to cope with changes and interact with the rest of the world. We have to benefit from the scientific and technological achievements of our age. In this regard, my government will continue developing the educational system. It will inject it with talent and provide it with modern educational tools. My government will also proceed with its efforts to implement the educational development plan for the years 2000-2005. It will institute the teaching of the English language from the first grade and will make computers available in all schools in order to improve the quality of education.

The government will also carry out the women and children protection programme. It will develop family planning schemes. It will set up the Al Hussein Centre for Social Care, "Bayader Al Khair," and will activate social and productive programmes.

The government will also articulate a clear policy for the development of youth services. This policy will be predicated on scientific bases that consolidate the youth's sense of belonging and instil in them the values of professional, social, voluntary and creative work.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

In recognition of the role of the private sector in the economic development process, my government will remain committed to the privatisation policy, in accordance with the law that was approved by your esteemed assembly. The government will continue its efforts to transform Aqaba into a special economic area that attracts local and foreign investment and creates employment opportunities for Jordanians.

My government will continue to support the national economy by supporting productivity, by ensuring a suitable investment environment to attract Arab and international capital, by developing productive agricultural and industrial sectors and by harmonising and unifying legislation and regulations.

The government will modernise the administration, and fight corruption, nepotism and favouritism as well as the abuse of public office. Towards that end, we have set up the Anti-Corruption Committee. My government will develop the guidelines for the work of the public sector, modernise legislation and enforce the principle of justice and equal opportunity in employment and administrative leadership.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

Jordan has been, and will, God willing, remain true to the principles of the Great Arab Revolt and its message of freedom and unity. Our national unity will remain a source of pride for us all. We will protect it and preserve it. We believe that this unity is sacred. It is a red line that we will not allow anybody to cross in any way or form. We will remain at the forefront in the defence of our nation and its rights and in building its future. We in Jordan, within the framework of Arab consensus, are committed to the peace process, which started on the basis of international legitimacy to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace that will restore the occupied land to its legitimate owners.

My government will continue its efforts to advance the peace process towards achieving the required progress on all fronts. It will continue to support our Palestinian brethren and provide them with whatever assistance they need to regain their rights and build their independent state on their national soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The acts of killing and destruction to which the Palestinian people are being subjected are acts that all international and humanitarian laws and regulations condemn. We salute the struggle of the Palestinian people and pray to God to bless their heroic martyrs. We demand that the international community fulfil its duty and put an end to the suffering and injustice being inflicted on the Palestinian people, and enable them to realise their freedom and independence on their national soil.

As for our brethren in Syria and Lebanon, we will never waver in providing assistance and support to them, so that they can regain their rights and occupied lands, and achieve the peace that the peoples of the area seek.

As for our Iraqi brethren, my government will also exert its efforts in co-operation with Arab countries and the international community to put an end to the suffering of this Arab country, and lift the embargo against it. We reiterate our commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.

My government will continue its sincere efforts aimed at unifying the nation's efforts and positions towards common challenges and causes. It will continue to support institutions of joint Arab action and build balanced relationships based on mutual respect, trust, co-operation and non-interference in the affairs of others.

Continuing our policy of working towards unifying the Arab nation, Jordan will host the Arab summit next March. This will be the third summit to be hosted by this genuine Arab sanctuary.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Deputies,

The national march requires dedication, persistent work, firm determination and fruitful co-operation amongst the members of our one Jordanian family. Together, God willing, we can build a safe, stable and prosperous future.

I pray to God Almighty to grant us His blessings and to guide us to the righteous path in the service of our country and Nation.

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.