In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,
Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates:
Let me begin by thanking you, Mr President, and the people of France, the people of Paris, for hosting this Conference. Two weeks ago, your country suffered a national tragedy, indeed a global tragedy. In gathering here, world leaders affirm that we stand as one with you, against Daesh and all terrorism.
Our collective response is key to defeat terror. This is the war of our generation, the fight for peace, tolerance, freedom and humanity. It is also our fight within Islam. It is a war we are reminded of every day, in Syria, Iraq, Mali, Egypt, Lebanon, France, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia and more. Terrorism has no borders.
The subject of this conference is also the fight of our generation. The entire planet is endangered by climate change. Responding to individual crises as they arise is not enough. It is simply impossible. We must act collectively, with foresight, responsibility and determination.
All countries have a stake. My country is on the receiving end of this challenge in many ways: Jordan is already the second water-poorest country on earth. We import more than 90 percent of our energy. We are in a struggle to create jobs and provide opportunities, especially for youth, over 70 percent of our population. Meantime, we remain a safe haven for refugees fleeing regional violence. Now, hosting 1.4 million Syrians — one for every five Jordanians — Jordan has one of the top two refugee populations per capita in the world.
If global climate change continues on today’s trajectory, the challenges will increase exponentially. These harsh realities are why Jordan has been integrating energy and environmental approaches into a sustainable, long-term national development strategy. In 2013, we were the first in our region to produce a comprehensive, forward-looking National Climate Change Policy.
In the past year alone, we have made greater strides towards energy independence and enhancing energy efficiency than in the entire life of our country. This year we opened the largest wind farm in the Arab World. And we have taken the first steps in switching Jordan’s public-sector fleet to eco-friendly electric vehicles.
Jordan also looks to innovation for other solutions: Meeting our rising water needs through desalination — advanced water management technologies — moving forward with the Red-Dead Conveyance project, to provide fresh water while using brine to replenish and save the Dead Sea.
Climate change cannot be addressed in isolation. No geographical region, no economic sector can protect itself from the impact of global threats. To achieve the future we seek, there must be comprehensive, collective, sustainable global action — action that gets results. Jordan pledges our continuing cooperation, for our own people’s future, and the future of our shared world.
Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the Leaders Event of the 21st Conference of the Parties
30 November 2015
“The challenges that we are going through require paying great attention to the following major national issues, when they are being addressed in the government programme:
- Strengthening and ensuring respect for the rule of law, and preserving security and public order.
- Continuing efforts to develop political life and legislation that regulates it with a view to encouraging citizens’ engagement and advancing partisan and legislative work.
- Consolidating the principles of transparency, accountability, justice, meritocracy, equal opportunities, seriousness in fighting corruption, wasta and nepotism, and strengthening the national integrity system to restore citizens’ confidence in state institutions.
- Applying the decentralisation approach to strengthen citizens’ partnership in decision-making, particularly on the local level.
- Taking effective measures to fight poverty, unemployment and protect consumers, at the same time broadening the middle class and empowering it, in addition to moving forward in economic and fiscal reform programmes, improving the economic performance and reining in the general state budget deficit and maintaining fiscal stability.
- Advancing the quality of services provided to citizens in various fields and with particular emphasis on health, education, training and employment, in a manner that meets the requirements of the labour market and guarantees the highest levels of equality and justice.
- Concentrating efforts on developing governorates to guarantee a fairer distribution of development gains, and creating a competitive, attractive investment environmentfor the local, Arab and international private sector, in order to realise sustainable economic growth and provide job opportunities to Jordanians.
- Enhancing food and water security and meeting the Kingdom’s requirements in terms of energy sources through long-term planning and the establishment of major projects that can meet our growing needs. This can be done through active and constructive partnership with the private sector and by countering energy challenges through the diversification of sources and implementation of consumption management programmes.
- Strengthening cooperation with civil society organisations, political parties, professional associations and the media as partners in various aspects of the reform and sustainable development processes. The government should also focus on positively contributing to encouraging these institutions and activating their performance, developing their roles and providing a positive environment that enables them to realise their goals to develop society”
From Letter of Designation
To Abdullah Ensour
9 March 2013
“Alternative energy is another area prepared for expansion. Recent discoveries in Jordan have revealed the 11th-largest uranium deposits in the world. The time is now to discuss wind, solar, and nuclear power in Jordan's future. Energy security and environmental safety are strong priorities. Join us in pioneering marketplace answers for the developing world's rising energy demand.”
Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the Jordan-US Business Forum
21 May 2011
“The government's economic policy should focus on achieving food and water security and on responding to the Kingdom's need for energy resources through long-term planning and pursuing mega projects that are capable of responding to our growing needs. In order to achieve the best possible results, and in light of the fact that these issues are interconnected, the government must draft the institutional frameworks that would ensure the highest level of coordination in the management of and investment in these sectors, especially alternative energy projects, gas and shale oil exploration, nuclear energy, the Disi Water Conveyance Project and the Red-Dead Water Conveyance Project.”
Letters of Designation
To Samir Rifai
9 December 2009