His Majesty King Abdullah II
Receiving the Path to Peace Award
at the 2022 Gala Dinner of the Path to Peace Foundation
9 may 2022
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you, all, for your warm welcome.
Let me extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Path to Peace Foundation for this distinguished award. Please allow us to accept it on behalf of those who, I believe, inspire us most—our fellow Jordanians, men and women, young people and elders, Muslims and Christians alike.
It is they who, together, uphold the historic values and noble heritage of our land, by living and working in mutual respect, by sustaining Jordan as an oasis of peace, and by reaching out in compassion to those in need, and offering sanctuary to millions of refugees over the years.
In all we do, Jordanians are guided by strong faith in God. And we join people around the world, of many religions, who also hear God's call to respect all humanity in equal dignity and compassion, as we make a shared journey through difficult terrain on our path to peace and hope.
Let me thank all of you who walk that path with us, foundations like yours, which continue to shine a light on the humanitarian values we all share, while working to promote peace, justice, and dialogue to bring peoples together.
Archbishop, Jordan has welcomed your Mission's partnership in supporting UN interfaith initiatives. Such work helps more and more people to see through the ugly, false, hate-filled narratives peddled by extremists.
His Holiness Pope Francis himself has repeatedly reached out to the Muslim world, speaking of his "profound respect and esteem for the Muslim community." And he has praised the religious freedom that supports Jordan's historic Christian community as a full and vital part of our society, and they certainly are. And in this regard, let me repeat what I have said so often: Arab Christians are an integral part, and a valued part of our region's past, present, and future.
Politics, technology, and the economy cannot alone shape a better world. It is how we, as humans, use these tools that makes all the difference. This reality puts front-and-centre the values we learn by talking and listening to each other: mutual respect, cooperation, and our shared humanity.
Consider food security—and we talked briefly about Lebanon—around the world, COVID, conflict, and climate change have colluded to pose a grave threat to adequate, affordable, accessible food. This threat does not simply mean grocery shelves are bare of choice. For too many families, it will mean tables bare of bread. No community, no government, no country can meet this challenge alone. We can and must work together, and work holistically to ensure that politics, economics, and technology serve the higher call to care and share.
Because our most difficult challenges will not be solved by material goods, nor by working in silos; they will be met by drawing on our faith in God, our common humanity, and our will to jointly defeat poverty and despair, end occupation and injustice, help refugees everywhere return home, ready to rebuild shattered communities, and renew the hope that young people everywhere so desperately need.
My dear friends,
Our journey on the path to peace must travel through Jerusalem. Billions of people around the world hold that Holy City in their hearts. It is home to our prayers and home to our hopes.
It is also home to many Arab Christians who are part of the oldest Christian community in the world, and it is vital for us all to protect their presence in this Holy City.
Jerusalem is key to the future of peace and stability that we all seek. And as Custodian of its Muslim and Christian Holy Sites, I say to you all, my friends, that upholding the historical and legal status quo at these holy places is essential for peace, for harmony, and freedom of worship. Jerusalem should be an anchor for peace and coexistence, not for fear and violence. Undermining the legal and historical status quo of the Holy City, will only escalate tensions and anger.
The cycle of violence and agony must stop.
And it is essential that the world help the parties get back to work to end the crisis. That goal requires a peace that is just and lasting, and can provide a future of hope for Palestinians and Israelis alike. And that is the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by- side with Israel in peace and security.
Let the humanity we share and the values that bring us together, be our guide as we make our journey into this uncertain future. They are the light that will keep us on the path to peace, and to the hope that peace can bring. I am grateful to have your wise fellowship along the way.
And on behalf of Rania and myself, thank you so much for this opportunity.