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Sunday, December 4, 2005

YAL Annual Meeting

Queen Rania calls for a new perception of youth as a fourth, and leading, sector across the Arab world

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Dubai) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, on Sunday, called for a new perception of, and an action-driven approach to, youth as a fourth and leading sector in the Arab world, highlighting the urgency of reaching out to, unifying and empowering, them and, in that spirit, witnessed the signing of a partnership between the Young Arab Leaders and INJAZ program.

Her Majesty's comments came during a two-day working visit to Dubai, where she participated in the Annual Meeting of the Forum of Young Arab Leaders (YAL).

In a special address, delivered during one of the main discussion sessions, Queen Rania said: "I meet with you, today, as I, together with the people of Jordan, recover from the criminal acts that struck our beloved country on November 9th."

"These vicious acts have reaffirmed that we can stand up against this evil ideology, and have reinforced, without doubt, that we are witnessing a clear battle between two conflicting ideologies… One that is based upon the principle of life and hope, and another that is rooted in murder and chaos," she added.

Highlighting the contrast between these ideologies, Queen Rania affirmed that we believe that the future is what counts, while they live in the past and seek to destroy that future. This future, represented by a fourth sector in society, is the target of today's ideological struggle.

The Queen went on to say that, "We have become accustomed to dealing with three classical sectors: the public, private and civil society sectors", adding that: "We have overlooked the fact that a fourth sector is the true representative of our future; one that comprises more than 200 million Arab citizens, citizens whose voices have not been heard through the three-sector equation".

Her Majesty also reiterated that this gathering symbolizes the voices of three-fourth of the Arab world and that youth, with all their optimism, hope and openness, and their rejection of the monopoly of thought and narrow-mindedness, constitute the fourth sector in all Arab societies.

"We have no excuse to lose this battle but our inability to unify and stimulate this sector," stressed Queen Rania, adding that "the numbers and figures are on our side, with the majority of youth seeking a platform to unite them and establish their intellectual identities".

She went on to add that, having sufficient financial and technical resources within our reach, "all we need is the will and determination to act and translate words and ideas into deeds".

Her Majesty highlighted the need to be able to measure success and progress: "We must move forward," added the Queen, "and the next time we meet we must be able to assess how far we have come in our societies, using, as measure, the names of those who have moved from the silence to action and participation in establishing the fourth sector".

Queen Rania went on to say that those names should surpass membership figures, and must represent not only the youth whose lives we touch throughout our work, but those with whom we connect and remain in touch with, thereby forming a growing constituency who share our beliefs and vision.

The Queen also said that