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Openness, moderation required to reach shared peace — Prince Hassan

By Petra - Oct 26,2014 - Last updated at Oct 26,2014

AMMAN — Modern ideology, intellectual openness, moderation and tolerance are key to creating the proper environment to reach a culture of shared peace, HRH Prince Hassan, president of the Arab Thought Forum (ATF), said on Sunday.

In a speech delivered by former prime minister Adnan Badran on his behalf at the opening ceremony of the fourth Arab-Turkish Congress of Social Sciences, the prince stressed that focusing on the national inclusive identity is key to true patriotism that prevents the marginalisation of any social segment.

The two-day conference, dubbed “Economy, Education and Development”, is being held at the University of Petra.

Noting that good citizenship can be instilled through an educational curriculum based on enlightened ideology and dialogue, Prince Hassan education and economic development represent two important issues for both developing and developed countries.

He added that teaching critical thinking requires comprehensive economic, social and cultural reforms, in addition to supporting scientific research.

Prince Hassan cited UNESCO and World Bank reports that pointed to the absence of a political will among Arab governments to support scientific research, since, on average, governments have spent only 0.04 per cent of their expenditure on this vital sector.

He noted that the increase in the number of Arab universities has not benefited underprivileged social sectors and other categories classified on an ethnic basis.

The World Bank has identified the reason for this educational gap and attributed it to the lack of attention to education quality; unjustified bureaucratic procedures; the absence of accountability of university administrations; insufficient updates in teaching methods; and inadequate spending on scientific research, the prince said.

Also speaking at the conference, which gathered Jordanian and Turkish university professors, Turkish Ambassador to Jordan Sedat Onal said Turkish-Arab relations are based on three important solid components: history, geography and culture.

Onal stressed the importance of education and development in improving countries and peoples and overcoming internal and external crises.

The conference is organised by the ATF, the Turkish Institute of Strategic Thinking and the University of Petra, in cooperation with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency and Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.

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