Queen Rania recognized for work in social advancement, sustainable development

February 09, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department—Rome) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan received an award from the Fondazione Mediterraneo (Mediterranean Foundation) in Italy for her commitment to the advancement of social causes and sustainable development.

 The foundation, which serves to stimulate partnerships among the Mediterranean, Europe and the Islamic world, recognized Queen Rania for her constant work in defending the rights of children, her commitment to endorsing women's rightful role in society, promoting the education of young women, and her constant efforts to integrate different components of Arab society into a global process. Queen Rania, who has spoken often of the need to increase dialogue and human interaction across the globe, accepted the award, saying "As migration picks up pace, neighborhoods are transforming, societies are diversifying, and the challenge of maintaining social harmony and providing equal opportunity is greater than ever." Regarding the crucial need to foster dialogue, Her Majesty offered a few words of advice to the global community. "We must reach out; we must learn about each other; we must support each other; we must stick together; and, we must be good neighbors—not only at home, at school, and in our communities, but across the boundaries of geography, culture, age, and race," she said.    Pier Ferdinando Casini, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), welcomed Her Majesty and recognized Jordan's efforts, specifically those of His Majesty King Abdullah in promoting peace in the region. Michele Capasso, President and Founder of Fondazione Mediterraneo, explained that the foundation works to promote dialogue, and increase cultural and social integration. He noted that His Majesty the late King Hussein had been a recipient of the award for his efforts to promote these ideals, regionally and globally. "Dialogue is the means to an end," said Capasso, "and the end is greater social cooperation." Such cooperation has been the focus of Her Majesty's programs both locally and globally. "We have to show by example that what humanity has in common is more powerful than anything that divides us," she said, "and that means actions not just words, and it means raising the volume among the voices of moderation." To achieve such an end result, Her Majesty's programs have revolved around promoting education and empowering women. Improving the quality of education and women's role in society leads to more cross cultural awareness. Such awareness fosters increased dialogue and through increased dialogue, global citizens can recognize the similarities that bind humanity together. Recently, Queen Rania signed on to be UNICEF's first Eminent Advocate for Children, to further highlight and promote children's rights. She has also encouraged women's participation in the workforce through formal and informal channels. The Foundation is an international non-profit organization of Social Utility, which includes specialists and internationally recognised scholars who focus on the Mediterranean and politicians with international and diplomatic experience who have been involved in Mediterranean affairs. It was established in 1994 and aims to develop dialogue among civilizations and cultures. It works in cooperation with the countries of the Middle East, the Gulf and the Black Sea. The foundation bases its actions on the principles of equality, sovereignty, and dignity of peoples. It works in respect of pluralism and cultural diversity. Each year the foundation recognizes outstanding contributors in art (literature, art, creativity) and civil society (peace, democracy, institutions, information, diplomacy) of the Greater Mediterranean.   Additional contacts: Lama Nabulsi, Office of Her Majesty, Press DepartmentTel: + 962 777 469 279Email: lnabulsi@rhc.jo Sonia Panzera, Fondazione MediterraneoTel: +390815523033Email: sonia@fondazionemediterraneo.org Additional websites: Queen Rania's website: http://www.queenrania.jo Fondazione Mediterraneo website: http://fondazionemediterraneo.org