Press release of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
Amman, 4 May 2000
N° 6


The Prime Minister of Jordan, Mr Abdul Ra'uof Al-Rawabdeh declared today that "peace must grant the refugees the right of return". Speaking at the 103rd Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), taking place in Amman till the 6 May, he also advocated "the return of all Syrian territories occupied since 1967 as well as for total withdrawal from occupied Lebanese land".

In his statement delivered before the 686 members of 128 parliaments gathered in Amman, the Jordanian Prime Minister said: "We reside today as neighbors in a single global community. We face similar problems to varying degrees. And thus we aspire to common solutions. We are no more in a world where countries are apart, divided by borders and distances. The world of today is a more transparent one, where all have access to everything and can reach everywhere. There are no more borders that can not be crossed or passed over, except by the clouds and the winds. Everything has changed. The world order has changed, and so did its basic values and principles".

Mr Abdul Ra'uof Al-Rawabdeh stated that in the transitional period towards market economy and the free flow of goods and capital, "the economic gap between and within the communities of the world has widened. Unemployment and the pockets of poverty have increased, and the volume of public services provided for the poor has diminished …Consequently, negative impacts are not only inflicted on poor countries, but rather they spread to affect global peace and security".

He stated that "global issues, problems, and threats are common to all and affect everybody … We are called upon, as parliamentarians and executives, to work together on formulating a more just and stable universal future. This is only possible if all countries, and all people cooperate to deal with all aspects of the shortfalls, negligence and inefficiency threatening the global peace and security".

For the Jordanian Prime Minister, "the days have gone when economic decisions were taken in a moral, environmental, and social vacuum. Industry and trade are not able any more to ignore the requirements of environmental protection. Profitability is meaningless without high quality of life. We … have to read the immediate environmental warning signs to avoid many forms of environmental destruction. Parliamentarians should be working hand in hand to unify environmental legislation so that we can have a universal regulatory framework for the environment to which all countries, without exception, shall be committed, and which prevents the abuse of the environment in the name of attracting investment".

He stressed that "there is a need for international awareness raising, and forming new values based upon humanitarian charters that have their roots in an integrated regime comprising the following principles: rebuking the single opinion mentality and the single opposition mentality; the universality of human rights principles; the internationalisation of the principles of democracy; the respect of cultural and religious multiplicity; the entrenchment of international legitimacy principles based upon the non-duplicity or contradiction criteria".

The Prime Minister pointed out that "Peace comes at the front of the basic conditions for building a new world … Just as there is no democracy without development, there is no development without peace. We all have to learn how to solve our problems through dialogue and negotiation, away from violence. Yet, peace can not be real and lasting, unless it is based on justice and the implementation of international legitimacy".

Mr Al-Rawabdeh explained that "the peace we seek and work for in Jordan is a peace funded on international legitimacy and justice, and on the right of the peoples in the region to enjoy security, free from wars, terrorism, and extremism. For this peace to be comprehensive and just, to be accepted and protected by future generations, it must bring a solution to the central Palestinian problem; a solution that is based on the UN and Security Council resolutions and one which guarantees the right of the Palestinian people to self determination and the establishment of an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem. Moreover, such peace must grant the refugees the right of return, allow for the return of Syrian territories occupied since 1967, as well as for total withdrawal from occupied Lebanese land".

In his concluding remarks, the Jordanian Prime Minister said that "the sanctions imposed on Iraq have lead to great human catastrophe of unpredictable destructive impact in the short and long terms. We call for lifting the embargo on Iraq, for the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, so that it can resume its role on the regional and international arena."

Contact in Amman for information and interviews (on the spot or by telephone): Mrs Luisa Ballin, IPU Information Officer. Tel.: 463 7639, fax 462 8430, e-mail: lb@mail.ipu.org or cd@mail.ipu.org

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