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Regional developments to shape future global security - King
New York, 24 September 2013

His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday said global security will long be shaped by what is happening now in the Middle East.

In remarks to the plenary session of the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, King Abdullah said “Our region can be, must be, a House of Peace and Prosperity: With strong pillars of good governance, and wide-open doors to opportunity, especially for our young people. This is Jordan's blueprint.”

In the speech, which was attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, His Majesty said the historic transformation going on in the region today will not be achieved by formulas.

“It will come when all our citizens feel truly represented. Jordan seeks a house of the future that includes all. We are building our future on the solid foundation of majority consensus, minority rights, a democratic culture of active citizenship, and peaceful, evolutionary change.”

His Majesty called for expediting a peaceful political solution to the crisis in Syria that could ensure an inclusive transition.

“It is time to fast track a political transition in Syria: to end the violence and bloodshed, neutralise the threat of chemical weapons, restore security and stability, preserve the unity of Syria and its territorial integrity, and engage all, all, its people in building their country’s future.”

He added that Syria’s future will depend on the Syrian people. However, “the world has the duty, the interest and the power to help.”

On the repercussions of the crisis on Jordan, the King noted that the flow of Syrian refugees already equals one-tenth of the population, noting it could reach one million, or 20 percent of the population, by next year.

“These are not just numbers; they are people who need food, water, shelter, sanitation, electricity, healthcare and more. Not even the strongest global economies could absorb this demand on infrastructure and resources, let alone a small economy and the fourth water-poorest country in the world.”

Jordanians have opened their arms to those in need, His Majesty told the UN’s global audience, “as we have always done.” “But I say here and now that my people cannot be asked to shoulder the burden of what is a regional and global challenge”.

The world also has the duty to help achieve a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict.

“Our international community must also work together for a speedy resolution of the region’s core crisis. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict consumes resources that are needed to build a better future, and feeds the flames of extremism around the world. It is time to put this fire out.”

Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, His Majesty’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury, Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN His Highness Prince Zeid Bin Raad and Jordan’s Ambassador to the US Alia Bouran were also attending the speech

His Majesty and the Crown Prince attended a lunch banquet held by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in honour of the heads of delegations.