Queen Rania Speaks at Aid Effectiveness Forum and Visits University of Education in South Korea

November 30, 2011

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department- Busan) – World-renowned education advocate, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan delivered today a key speech at the Opening Ceremony of The fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South korea.

“We are in a constant continuum of change which is altering the context for development;” said Her Majesty, highlighting the urgency and the challenges of economic downturns and record unemployment, food shortages, famine, and fuel crises.

Her Majesty stressed that “smart aid” must target Jobs, to relieve unemployment, saying: “Arab youth don’t want aid money or short-term projects, they want jobs. They want to earn their salary; learn new skills. They want dignity not dependence.”

Smart aid must also invest in children through a quality education, said the Queen, adding that “Education is more than a right; it’s a resource. It can combat almost every global humanitarian challenge today”. Queen Rania added that: “67 million children are shut out of school, there is a shortfall of 8 million teachers, curricula are out-dated, and students graduate with yesterday’s skills”

Her Majesty also stressed that aid must prioritize women, because “women have contributed more to global GDP than either new technologies or the emerging economies of China and India.” Adding that: “women in developing countries farm, produce, and sell more than half the world’s food. And when they’re not doing that, they’re cooking, childbearing, care-giving, finding fuel, carrying water. Women are at the forefront of our sustainable future.”

In Her speech, Queen Rania reaffirmed that “inequality” has been at the center of the world development challenge. The Queen concluded her remarks by explaining that: “inequalities serve nobody’s interests. In fact, high levels of inequalities actually impede economic progress. In countries where income is distributed more equally, there are longer-lasting spells of sustained growth.”

The opening ceremony also included speeches and remarks by Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General; Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State; President Myung-bak Lee, President of the Republic of Korea; President Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Korea and Mr. Angel Gurria, Secretary General of OECD.

The forum comes as a follow-up to the meeting in Rome in 2003, Paris Declaration in 2005 and 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Ghana.

The aim of the forum is for participants to share experiences of implementing the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action in order to highlight good practices, identify lessons learned from the experience and identify where more work is needed.

During the forum, approximately 2000 delegates will review global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid and make new commitments to further ensure that aid helps reduce poverty and supports progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Her Majesty Queen Rania also paid a visit to National University of Education in Busan. The Queen met with the University President, Dr. Sangyoung Kim, where she was briefed about the University’s experience in teachers’ education and training. Her Majesty toured the Elementary School of Busan National University of Education with the school’s principle, where she visited classrooms and observed some classes. The university aims to educate students to become qualified teachers with leadership skills and a sense of duty by improving their qualifications.

The Day before Her Majesty also addressed the International Forum on Education ODA “Dream with Education!: From Aid to Development” a side event of the forum.