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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King joins celebrations on Jordan University’s 50th anniversary
Amman, 10 December 2012

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday said the youth are the key engine that drives the development process and the vehicle and purpose of development.

“Therefore, we should continue investing in the youth through education and training to equip them with skills and expertise that make them creative and allow them to excel,” King Abdullah said in remarks during a visit to the University of Jordan (UJ) on its 50th anniversary.

In the speech, His Majesty's announced an initiative for democratic development under the umbrella of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development. The plan, he said, is designed to promote dialogue, encourage civil participation and achieve sustainable political development by focusing on youth empowerment.

The King added that the role of young people should not be limited to the campus. Their talents and energy, he said, should be harnessed to effect positive change in all sectors and reflect in political participation that enables them to take part in decision making to build a better future for them and future generations.

His Majesty highlighted the significant political reforms Jordan has achieved over the past two years, noting that the youth, who constitute the largest segment of the population, should lead the reform process and effect the envisioned change. This can be achieved, he added, by spreading awareness of the vitality of change and identifying and debating the problems the youth face in the context of a national dialogue with political parties and forces, civil society and constitutional institutions. The aim, the King explained, is to work out solutions to be incorporated in electoral platforms, which will be voted on in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

His Majesty urged young people to hold to account the coming legislatures and parliamentary governments, and to judge them by their commitment to implementing their platforms and proposals to address the problems and challenges youth face, especially their need for jobs that ensure them a secure livelihood.

The King said the achievements made as part of Jordan’s reform process are but the first chapter in a long series of changes, adding that the accomplishments made so far serve as solid foundation for the entire reform process. He stressed that the success of this process hinges on the awareness of citizens, who are required to actively take part in political and partisan action.

Such participation would take the country to the stage of parliamentary governments, he said, where people will be able to play a key and direct part in decision making by selecting the most qualified persons to represent them in the coming parliament.

His Majesty urged universities to focus on the quality of higher education and shoulder their responsibility to help build cultural and democratic awareness and enhance students’ collective identity based on the principles of citizenship and equality in rights and obligations.

He added that universities are required to introduce fresh policies and programmes that adopt the highest criteria and best practices in the region and the world. They are expected to design programmes for higher education and vocational and technical education to meet the requirements of globalisation and the labour market.

In addition, higher education institutions should create an atmosphere of fruitful and continuous cooperation with the private and public sector and civil society.

The King emphasised that Jordanians have overcome difficult conditions through resolve and sacrifices and succeeded in building a country whose achievements are applauded by everyone.

Jordan, he said, has been a pioneer in several fields, especially education and health care, and has been playing a leading and prominent role in defending Arab and Islamic causes.

His Majesty said he is proud of citizens who take pride in their Jordanian identity and put the interests of their country before any other interests or considerations.

At times of crisis, the dignity and faithfulness of true Jordanians transcend any other personal, partisan or regional interest.