Queen Rania Addresses Local and International Youth at Amman Model United Nations Conference

November 20, 2005

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Amman) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, on Sunday, joined a group of Jordanian and international students, at the Kempinski Hotel in Amman, for the 4th annual session of the Amman Model United Nations (AMMUN) Conference to discuss the key role of youth in addressing the global challenges of terrorism and extremism.

The students debated the global nature of terrorism in today's world and discussed tangible recommendations for action, including utilizing the media, youth camps, and youth discussion groups, as well as the need for the government to fund youth projects, which combat the roots of terrorism.

This year's conference was scheduled to include over 20 schools from Jordan and around the world. Due to the bombings in Amman earlier this month, however, several countries canceled their participation.

Despite the cancellations, the participating local schools and organizing team decided to forge ahead with the event, saying: "If there is any hope at all for a better tomorrow, it is to be found in the hearts of the youth…MUN has, above all, taught us to always have confidence in our ability to affect change, and we are more determined than ever to make a difference."

Queen Rania commended the students for going ahead with the conference and for their "spirit of perseverance, courage, strength and determination". She noted that today's struggle against terrorism is different from traditional struggles, which are defined by geographical borders, adding that it is "mindset against mindset", and a common global challenge.

She charged the youth with the responsibility to take on the fight of the moderates against the extremists, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of future generations.

Queen Rania shared her faith in the youth, noting that, despite the rich diversity of their backgrounds, they share common values. Her Majesty said that today's youth represent "a mindset that respects human life… that respects the values of peace, of justice, of tolerance, of diversity".

"It doesn't matter what your religion is, which country you come from, what color, what race… What matters is what is going on in your head".

"Let us focus on what we have in common", urged the Queen, stressing that the youth must decide never to live in fear and that their presence today is the "first step" in the right direction.

Since its inception three years ago, the Amman Model United Nations, an entirely student-organized simulation of the United Nations, has been a beacon of peace and political understanding among youth.