Meeting between the Director-General and the King of Jordan
During her official visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein.
"The relationship between UNESCO and Jordan is long-lasting and fruitful," highlighted the King.
His Majesty emphasized Jordan's major concern for the Old City of Jerusalem and recalled that the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs stands as the authority for the preservation of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Director-General highlighted the importance of Jordan as a partner of UNESCO and also for its key role in the region, enabling a constructive and helpful environment for negotiations, notably on the issue of Jerusalem.
She recalled the meeting of experts to reinvigorate the UNESCO Action Plan for the Old City of Jerusalem in October 2010 and thanked His Majesty for Jordan's most cooperative attitude with all concerned parties with respect to reaching a consensus on the design of the Mughrabi Ascent.
The Director-General reiterated her support to the preservation of Jordan's cultural heritage, referring to the iconic UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra and the challenges of ensuring sustainable tourism at the site "which stands as a victim of its own success". In this respect, she also expressed UNESCO's wish for the timely appointment of Jordan's Director of the Department of Antiquities.
The King affirmed his strong support to the Organization in the current moment of difficulties that resulted from the withholding of funding from the United States of America following the admission of Palestine as a Member to UNESCO.
The Director-General commended King Abdullah II for his important achievements in the areas of education and sciences, and praised especially Her Majesty Queen Rania for her personal and passionate commitment to the Global Campaign for Education.
The Director-General requested His Majesty for Jordan's proactive role in mobilizing political leadership for the success of Rio +20, which is of great concern to the UN Secretary-General and for which the Arab Region holds a fundamental role in such issues as water, energy, environment and sustainable development.
The King agreed as to the challenges of sustainable development in relation to water and energy for Jordan and the region, and assured her of his personal attention in this matter.