At the 76th Plenary Session of the UN General Assembly

Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II

At the 76th Plenary Session of the UN General Assembly

22 September 2021


In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr President,
Mr Secretary General,
Your Excellencies:

It is a special pleasure to be part of this General Assembly, as our countries join in a common cause—to act on shared concerns; to be alert to serious global threats; and to move forward, faster, to the world that our people deserve, leaving no one behind.

I do not need to elaborate upon what we all know; today’s most critical challenges are global in scope—the deadly pandemic, climate change, violent conflicts exploited by global extremists, destabilising economic fault-lines, a continuing, global refugee crisis.

Our countries have a vast shared interest in responding effectively. That requires collective action, and the emphasis must be on action. Positive change cannot be willed into being. Our work must be coordinated and structured to deliver real-world impact.

Jordan has long supported a collective approach. Since our country was founded a hundred years ago, we have worked closely with regional and international partners to support peace, progress, and mutual respect worldwide. We know the hardships and difficulties, but we also see the tremendous opportunities to build a better world.

My friends,

Global partnership is critical to resolving one of the longest-standing conflicts in modern history—the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The bitter war on Gaza this past year was a reminder that the current situation is simply unsustainable. And the suffering we continue to see points us once more to the critical need to keep supporting UNRWA, as it continues to fulfil its UN mandate and provide vital humanitarian services to 5.7 million vulnerable Palestinian refugees.

But how many more homes will be lost? How many more children will die, before the world wakes up? Genuine security for either side—indeed, for the whole world—can only be achieved through the two-state solution, a solution that leads to the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state on the basis of the June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.

And Jerusalem is at the heart of this peace. Billions of people around the world hold this Holy City dear.

For our part, Jordan will continue working to preserve the historic and legal status quo of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian Holy Sites, under Hashemite Custodianship.

I believe Jerusalem’s holiness to Muslims, Christians, and Jews can and must bring us together. With international help, the Holy City can be, not a cause of division, but a symbol of unity for all to see.

My friends,

Elsewhere in the region, Lebanon is facing a dire humanitarian and economic situation. Desperate living-conditions are looming for millions—family tables without food, homes losing electricity and water, workplaces unable to operate. In this time of great need, we owe the Lebanese people our full support, to enable them to rise from this crisis. And that demands a well-planned, well-executed international response, engaging all of us.

And the world must not forget the millions of refugees in host countries like Lebanon. Jordanians well understand what a serious impact this has. For generations, our country has sacrificed to help millions of refugees fleeing injustice and danger. The wellbeing of these millions and the communities that host them remains an international responsibility. It is vital to keep up support for UNHCR, the World Food Programme, and others that care for and offer hope to refugees and their host communities.

My friends,

Leaving people in need, innocents in jeopardy, and conflicts unresolved plays into the hands of global extremists, who exploit the despair, frustration, and anger these crises leave in their wake.

Although we may have won some battles, the fight against terrorism and extremism is not yet over. Our action—collective, global action—remains essential.

To address the totality of the problem and the need, Jordan continues to work closely with our partners. Through the Aqaba Process, a holistic approach, we have helped bring together concerned leaders, to coordinate, exchange best practices, develop new strategies, and more.

My friends,

If humanity faced no other threats at all, we would still need to unite to face the most existential of our time—the global climate crisis. As one of the water-poorest countries in the world, Jordan is painfully aware of the threat. Our National Green Growth Action Plan is designed to ensure energy efficiency and strengthen our resilience in water and agriculture.

But no country can combat climate change on its own. And that is a powerful reminder of the need to develop new ways to respond as one world, one humanity, to all the crises and challenges we face.

It is for this reason that Jordan has been calling for regional networks of resiliency to pool our resources and respond quickly and smoothly to needs as they arise. And we stand ready to utilise our country's strategic location—at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe—to facilitate the broadest international response.

But every country has strengths and capabilities to offer; every region has capacities to speed forward the larger global response; and every international body has powers to contribute, to guide, reinforce, and coordinate global action.

In this General Assembly, together, we can re-think, re-calibrate and re-direct our world away from danger.

We know the threats; we know the opportunities. Now, together, let's take the actions we need.

Thank you.