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King Abdullah II of Jordan addresses UN General Assembly

King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke to the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York City.

The King’s speech focused on the challenges facing the world today – including the issue regarding Palestine and Israel and the two-state solution. He also called on countries to pull together to get the peace process between Israel and Palestine “back on track.” The status of Jerusalem, terrorism, and Jordan’s support for refugees were also focal points.

Secretary-General Guterres meeting the King of Jordan on 25 September 2018. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The King spoke about how the UN was born out of “the ashes of the Second World War, out of a deep desire to protect new generations from suffering, destruction.” He stressed that the world still faced challenges with many hoping for peace and stability across the globe. The King went on to call these challenges a third world war.

Palestinian issues were a top priority for King Abdullah. He told the General Assembly, “We have a long way to go to deliver global opportunity and hope, but we can’t simply give up because the task is hard. All our countries benefit when we unite in common cause. I am compelled to talk about this today because of the critical role of collective action in ending the serious crises in my region, and especially the key crisis—the long denial of a Palestinian state.”

The King recognised that the UN has shown support for equal rights of the Palestinian people, adding that the desire for “a future of peace, dignity, and hope” was the heart of the two-state solution.

“Only a two-state solution based on international law and relevant UN resolutions can meet the needs of both sides: an end to conflict, a viable, independent, sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a secure Israel, fully part of its own region, recognised by Arab and Muslim states around the world,” he stressed.

He questioned how long Jerusalem must face danger as a multi-faith city in regard to its multi-faith heritage and identity. He then stressed that there had to be an agreement with both parties to achieve peace. Only through countries pulling together can the peace process get back on track, he explained. He stressed that this “means utterly rejecting actions that jeopardise negotiations, whether by illegal encroachments, land confiscations, or threats to the welfare of innocents, especially children.”

“Above all, we need to safeguard the heritage and peace of Jerusalem, a holy city to billions of people around the world. The Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem is a duty that Jordan is proud to carry, and we will counter any attempts to change the holy city’s historic Arab Christian and Muslim identity,” the King added.

His Majesty went on to discuss that there must be an effective global response to terrorism and countering all ideologies of hatred. Strengthening the response to the refugee crisis was also a point King Abdullah stressed to the world leaders.

He explained the large amounts of refugees that Jordan has taken in from conflicts in places like Syria. The King added that “sacrifices we and other host countries make every day can only continue if donor nations hold up their side of the partnership.”

Jordan’s monarch closed by saying, “Peace and prosperity demand constant, collective action. The alternative is to fail our history and fail our future.

“Let us choose, instead, to succeed, to give the world’s people, especially young people, confidence in global justice, hope for new opportunity, and international laws and agreements and institutions that everyone can rely on.”

Alongside His Majesty was the Jordanian delegation which included Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Adviser to His Majesty and Director of the Office of His Majesty Manar Dabbas, and Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Sima Bahous, according to the Royal Hashemite Court.

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