AMMAN — Leaders in Jordan and the region must consider the needs of their own people in order to strengthen the country and the Arab nation, HRH Prince Hassan said.
In an interview with Jordan Television’s “Sixty Minutes” programme on Friday, the Prince said the Arab Spring came as a result of obvious causes, including population growth.
At present, he noted, the population of the Arab world is equal to that of Europe, but Europe does not have the same social security, population growth and production problems.
“Our problem today is how to humanise our priorities,” Prince Hassan noted, stressing the common identity of all Arabs and Muslims.
Speaking about unemployment in Jordan, he said the jobless rate is higher among the literate than the illiterate, noting that the real problem is not illiteracy but the challenge of connecting education with the needs of the labour market, especially as it is said that Jordan hosts between 800,000 and one million guest workers.
Each guest worker costs Jordan around JD16 on a daily basis, the Prince added, citing World Bank estimates.
He also noted that economic reform should be directed to serve the country and Jordanians, not investors. Project selection should be made to expand the country’s productive potential, he pointed out, stressing the importance of communicating with people and building citizenship.
On the amendments to the Constitution, Prince Hassan said His Majesty King Abdullah undertook this task with great responsibility and understanding, noting that the 1952 Constitution is not necessarily workable for all times and places.
Underlining Jordan’s national unity, democracy and compliance with international laws and human rights, he also asserted the need to strengthen Arab unity.
“For example, instead of being asked to acquaint the European parliament of the conditions of our prisons and how we run public freedoms, it is better that we establish an Arab constitutional court or an Arab criminal court to play a role as a region and not to remain marginalised,” he said.
Prince Hassan noted that health, education and social development should come in an integrated package as they work together to provide people with better lives.
He also noted that the official media has an important role in conveying the national message, which needs to be amended.
In the interview, the Prince described character assassination as the first of several stages that lead to instability in a country.
“In practice, the call for change, as we have seen in many Arab countries, does not necessarily lead to stability,” he said, urging Jordanians to refrain from gossiping.
This region is in need of an economic and social council that agrees on political, economic and social related issues, Prince Hassan recommended, noting that unfortunately, foreign institutions are attempting to dictate the outcomes of the Arab Spring.
Underlining the King’s constant calls for work, Prince Hassan said: “I believe with work we will be able to overcome many challenges, illusions and fears.”