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Economy our greatest national challenge — King

Nov 16,2015 - Last updated at Nov 16,2015

His Majesty King Abdullah delivers the Speech from the Throne at the opening of the 17th Parliament’s third ordinary session on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

Following is the official translation of His Majesty King Abdullah’s Speech from the Throne, delivered at the opening of the 17th Parliament’s third ordinary session on Sunday.

In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,

Prayers and peace be upon Our Master Mohammad, the Honest Arab Hashemite Prophet,

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Representatives,

Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

In the name of God, and with His blessings, we inaugurate the third ordinary session of the 17th Parliament — a further milestone in the political life of our beloved country.

Despite regional turbulence and crises, Jordan has demonstrated that it is most capable of turning challenges into opportunities. By adopting a reform roadmap that seeks development and progress as a collective national endeavour, we move continuously towards the prosperous future our dear people and country rightly deserve.

Today is an opportunity to affirm our commitment to a comprehensive reform approach that seeks gradual and steady progress, built on our previous achievements and identified national priorities. We consider both the municipalities and decentralisation laws as a cornerstone for broadening the role and responsibilities of local administrations in our governorates. These laws are also crucial for deepening citizens’ participation and empowering them to contribute towards identifying their priorities, in addition to formulating a future vision for their areas’ development plans and distributing developmental gains more equally and effectively.

Moreover, the Political Parties Law contributes to creating an environment conducive to participation in political parties, according to goal-driven national platforms. We also look forward to a more advanced elections law that helps us move forward in developing our democratic life, by providing fairer representation and elevating the quality of parliamentary work in order to realise our vision for forming parliamentary governments. All of these priorities were duly incorporated by the government in the draft elections law presented to your esteemed assembly.

In parallel to ongoing reform programmes, we are enhancing human rights through tangible steps that strengthen integrity and transparency. These efforts require the adoption of the draft integrity and anti-corruption law, so that principles of justice, equality, accountability and equal opportunity are enshrined and well-guarded. This requires complete cooperation between the government and the House of Representatives, assuring highest levels of responsibility.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Representatives,

The economy is our greatest national challenge and our top concern. We, therefore, place the improvement of citizens’ living conditions at the top of our priorities and at the centre of the economic projects we seek to implement. These projects are formulated according to a well-defined, 10-year socio-economic blueprint that has been devised by the government. It encompasses all sectors and seeks to attract private investments in the vital and promising ones. This is the foundation for achieving the sustainable growth we seek, which generates productive job opportunities for Jordanian youth.

The time has come for the government to present draft legislation to your esteemed assembly that establishes a Jordanian investment fund. This fund should attract investments from banks, Arab sovereign wealth funds, private sector enterprises and individuals, targeting national developmental and pioneering projects that yield benefits to the national economy as well as those contributing to the fund.

Equally important, is to always strive to advance our business environment and modernise economic legislation to keep pace with international advancements and best practices.

It is, therefore, important to provide an improved environment for investors with better quality services. Towards this end, we must make sure that those individuals, who place obstacles to modernising the business climate rather than provide solutions to enhance it, are challenged.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Representatives,

We have realised significant accomplishments in various fields, particularly energy. Yet, we strive to continue to build on our success in the energy sector, as well as in the water and transport sectors, and channel investments towards them. It is equally important that we continue to build on what Jordan has achieved in ICT, and keep up with latest international advancements in this field to maintain Jordan’s competitiveness in this important industry, which has a major role in providing opportunities for Jordanian talents.

As for education — a field that defines Jordan’s future — there must be a qualitative leap and radical reform. This requires implementing the government’s programmes and the forthcoming recommendations of the National Committee for Development of Human Resources, all in an effort to boost Jordan’s ranking regionally and internationally. Here, our priorities include teachers’ training, so they are better equipped to assume their instrumental role.

To achieve all of this, it is important to be reminded that our success in realising the goals of the next phase requires the highest degree of cooperation and coordination between all institutions as well as between the private and public sectors.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Representatives,

Jordan will forever remain committed to its historical stances, the causes of Arab and Muslim nations and peace and security across the world.

The just Palestinian cause remains first and foremost on Jordan’s diplomatic agenda, due to its centrality and because it is a higher national interest.

As for Jerusalem, it remains a responsibility we embrace out of historical and religious duty as well as our custodianship over its holy sites. It is a responsibility that was carried proudly by our forefathers — and will continue to be carried proudly by our future generations — in defence of this holy city against violations and attempts to change its character. We are honoured to continue upholding this responsibility.

In regards to the Syrian crisis, we reiterate our position supporting a comprehensive political solution for this protracted suffering. A solution based on the participation of every component of the Syrian society, ensuring Syria’s unity, stability and future.

In Jordan, we have received our brethren Syrian refugees out of humanitarian and national duties. Jordan has provided all possible assistance, medical aid and shelter to ease their suffering, while other countries with far more resources have turned their backs on them.

Honourable Senators,

Honourable Representatives,

Terrorism is the greatest threat to our region. Terrorist groups, especially the khawarej [outlaws of Islam], threaten many countries in the region and beyond, which makes confronting extremism a shared regional and international responsibility. However, this collective responsibility, in its essence, is our fight as Muslims against those who aim to hijack our societies and future generations.

Jordan will continue to fight attempts to tarnish our true righteous religion because the fight against these forces of evil, darkness and terror is our fight, especially since we are the primary target of the enemies of Islam.

And here, we would like to salute our brave members of the Jordan Armed Forces and security agencies, serving in various fields of honour and bravery, and offering their lives to defend our homeland, protect our achievements and safeguard the security of our country and citizens.

We underline our constant support for our brave brothers in arms. It is essential that all state institutions are committed to supporting our armed forces and security agencies, so that they remain — as they are well known to be — up to the highest standards of competency, efficiency and excellence.

Looking ahead, Jordan will remain a stronghold, a safe haven and a stable homeland, providing an example of strength, unity and harmony that binds its sons and daughters — Muslims and Christians — together, united in their belonging for Jordan and commitment to the Great Arab Revolt, as we steadily carry its Hashemite legacy.

The Jordanian flag shall, God willing, forever remain high and Jordanians proud, confident and glorious.


Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

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