Jordan’s Queen Rania calls for shift in humanity’s response to global crises at Paris Peace Forum

Jordan’s Queen Rania calls for shift in humanity’s response to global crises at Paris Peace Forum
Queen Rania Al-Abdullah addressing audience at Paris Peace Forum. (Petra)
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Updated 12 November 2022

Jordan’s Queen Rania calls for shift in humanity’s response to global crises at Paris Peace Forum

Jordan’s Queen Rania calls for shift in humanity’s response to global crises at Paris Peace Forum
  • Queen cites response to climate change as example of ‘chasm between promises and policies’
  • Disparity in reception of refugees from Ukraine to those from Syria, South Sudan and Myanmar also highlighted

LONDON: Jordan’s Queen Rania Al-Abdullah urged the international community to shift its response to the world’s multiplying crises on Friday at the Paris Peace Forum, Jordan News Agency reported. 

In her address to the fifth edition of the forum, Queen Rania stated that the world is facing “a convergence of crises,” including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, climate change, inequality and a general erosion of trust. 

“Yet, too often, we are failing to meet our common threats with a spirit of common cause,” she said.

“Our world is off-balance; simply trying to keep things steady is not enough.”

Queen Rania called for four critical shifts in humanity’s approach to shared challenges: “Renewing our faith in truth, recognizing that we all have equal worth, safeguarding the future and believing in our ability to remake the world as we wish it could be.”

Expanding on the first point, the queen emphasized that speaking the truth must be followed by real action. 

“Honesty is the foundation of trust, but words are not enough. Cynicism flourishes in the gap between words and deeds,” she said.

She cited the global response to climate change as an example of the “chasm between promises and policies.”

She drew attention to the stark contrast between pledges made as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures from rising and recent UN climate report findings, which predict that temperatures will exceed safe levels. 

“It’s too late for wish lists. We need binding to-do lists to save both our credibility and our planet,” she cautioned.

Regarding her second point, the queen emphasized the importance of remembering common humanity, especially in the case of refugee populations. 

She said that the global refugee crisis has reached “epic proportions” with the number of displaced people now exceeding 100 million. She also highlighted the disparity in the reception of refugees from Ukraine to those from countries such as Syria, Myanmar, and South Sudan.

“What accounts for the contrast in compassion? Does skin color make all the difference?” she asked. “Too often, the barrier isn’t budgets. It’s bigotry and bias.”

“Until we embrace the reality of our connectedness, we’ll continue to bear the worst of its consequences,” she added. 

Moving onto her third point, the queen stated that humanity must “act in the service of future generations,” affirming that the decisions of the present will have a direct impact on those who will inherit the future. 

“What matters is not the next election, or the next financial quarter, or the next generation of smartphones. What matters is doing right by the next generation of humanity,” she said.

Queen Rania, in reaching her final point, underscored the value of “renewing hope and confidence in ourselves.”

On a more positive note, she stated that “despite the multi-crises we face, humanity has made enormous progress,” relaying that over the last few decades, 1 billion people have risen out of extreme poverty, infant mortality has dropped by more than half, more children are attending school and fewer are going hungry. 

She explained that hope is based on the ability to believe that things can improve.

“It’s not just technology that’s enabled these wins, it’s collaboration and trust. The instinct to help. The goodness that resides in human hearts,” she noted.

Queen Rania urged the audience to resist complacency and try to anticipate crises earlier, “so that we can fix problems before they become perils and prevent tomorrow’s crises before they start.” 

The Paris Peace Forum was founded in 2017 with the goal of bridging the governance gap by bringing together key stakeholders to advance concrete solutions to global issues.

Public and private organizations present their governance projects to global leaders, elected officials, experts and other stakeholders at the annual event.