His Majesty King Abdullah's Message to the Jordanians
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
Praise be to God, and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad,
My family and source of fortitude, daughters and sons of our dear Jordan,
Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.
We begin the first year in the second centennial of our state, determined to build on the accomplishments of our ancestors and continue on the path of development, overcoming the challenges facing us with unrelenting resolve, a strong will, sound institutional planning and a clear vision.
Over the past 100 years, our proud people have proven that hardships only make them more determined to triumph over adversity. They have demonstrated that Jordan is the land of blessings, achievements, and excellence, despite its limited resources.
This year, as I turn 60 and as our dear country embarks on a new centennial, I evoke the calling of the Hashemites to which I have dedicated myself — as a soldier in the Arab Army and a Jordanian citizen who believes in this homeland — in service of our beloved Jordan and its great people. I will not forget, as long as I live, the words of my father, may God rest his soul, as he bid farewell to our world, that devotion and loyalty to this land is an honour and a duty that we carry across generations.
Hardships have intensified in recent years, as crises flared in our region, casting their shadow over us. We welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees and dealt with security challenges on our borders, as vital trade routes were disrupted and external support dwindled. This led to a slowdown in our progress, which also suffered from weakness in institutional work, reluctance to implement programmes and plans, bureaucratic stagnation, aversion to change, the spread of rumours, and the absence of objective and rational dialogue, in addition to the economic and social burdens that COVID-19 left in its wake.
Indeed, progress slowed down, but it did not stop. I am truly proud of the achievements of my fellow Jordanians; despite the magnitude of the hardships and challenges, they continue to prove, time after time, that their will, determination and awareness are stronger than the fiercest storm.
I am aware, as are you, that our reality does not live up to our aspirations, and we all do not accept that for our country. My aspirations for our steadfast nation has no limits, out of my deep belief that we can build the bright future we all desire. Our history attests that Jordanians can achieve much and excel if they put their mind to it.
I can see our future clearly — a bright future where we fortify our security and stability, and move ahead on the path of development towards further excellence, achievements, and innovation; a future where we reclaim our leadership in education, advance our economy, and bolster our public sector’s efficiency and capacity; a future in which our private sector thrives, with opportunities increasing fairly to counter poverty and unemployment, and curtail inequality; a future that empowers our youths to soar in the skies of innovation.
We want a future of excellence and creativity, that is open to change and development, accepts new ideas, and embraces diversity while building on our shared values, so that we remain a symbol of tolerance and altruism. These are the values enshrined by Jordan and that make our country a model of progress, openness, moderation, and authenticity.
Achieving this vision requires intensive efforts to reinforce our points of strength and address points of weakness in planning and implementation. We must step up performance in various sectors and provide all Jordanians with the opportunities and services befitting them.
We must identify and implement effective steps to attract foreign investments and promote national investments. We must also set a clear roadmap tied to a timeframe to overcome obstacles to private sector growth and address issues plaguing institutional work at the administrative level. Our goal is to seize every opportunity and remedy every shortcoming to provide a decent and prosperous life to all our people.
Brothers and sisters,
There are promising sectors, which if stimulated and supported will reflect positively on the overall performance of our economy. I have directed the government to develop plans and programmes to support such sectors, including tourism, agriculture, advanced technology and renewable energy. We must also do everything possible to advance the medical sector and reclaim Jordan’s position as a prime medical tourism destination in the region.
We must also offer broad support to our young entrepreneurs, and provide a competitive environment to incubate the industries of the future. Developing our educational system in line with current and future labour market needs, is another priority I have directed the government to focus on and dedicate the necessary resources for.
And we all recognise that the technological revolution offers an opportunity to re-engineer the public sector in innovative ways. Digitising official procedures can streamline the provision of public services efficiently and transparently. By reducing paperwork, we will ensure a leaner public sector that offers fair services which are less susceptible to personal whims and the corrupt practices that lurk behind stacks of paperwork.
We must all work to bridge the trust gap between people and governments. This starts with governments adopting comprehensive plans and programmes with clear goals and KPIs. Governments must operate transparently, clarifying their work mechanisms openly and responsibly, to dispel destructive rumours with convincing facts and replace futile argumentation that feeds on the lack of information with informed debates. Accountability is a must for those who are derelict in performing their duties towards citizens, for public service is about offering solutions, not placing obstacles before citizens.
We will not find solutions in vicious cycles of blame and scepticism, nor in the absence of facts, logic and rationality. The only way out of this cycle lies in a true partnership between the government and citizens to counter rumours, false news, and misinformation. Together, we must reclaim the spaces of public dialogue to prevent the saboteurs hiding behind their screens from sowing negativity, frustration, and distrust in our society and nation. Trust is the basis for society’s resilience. If it is shaken, it destabilises our entire value system. Those who seek personal battles and heroic pursuits at the expense of the nation’s interest have no place among us.
Pessimism does not build futures. Despair does not offer solutions. And we will not move a step forward unless our ambition is relentless. I know Jordanians have unmatched willpower, and they do not settle for anything but the best. Together, we will build our best future.
We have to translate our vision for the future that we seek into a reality for our people. This behoves us to sketch the future that we aspire for, and to move towards it by developing and modernising our tools to succeed in a world that is constantly changing. History has never witnessed transformations as rapid as those in our time in the economic, technological, scientific, cultural and even climate-related fields.
All countries stand today at a crossroads — they either keep up with the transformations and obtain the necessary tools, or fall behind and live on the sidelines of the future. In this era, a country’s success hinges upon its ability to swiftly adapt to rapid change, by nurturing creativity, excellence, innovation, and openness to new ideas and international expertise.
We must embrace this future with the boldness that the entire world knows is inherent in Jordanians. We hold on to our values and defend our principles with the best tools and capacities at our disposal; for our history is a testament to the fearlessness and steadfastness of Jordanians, inspired by their unwavering love and belonging to their homeland.
We must challenge ourselves to make the hardest and boldest decisions without hesitation. There is no place among us for officials who shy away from making decisions or effecting positive change, or those who hide behind bureaucracy to avoid taking responsibility for their decisions. Our duty is to provide protection and support for officials who make bold decisions and take the initiative, as long as their decisions are in accordance with the law and are not tied to personal interest. We must recognise that there will always be opposition to certain decisions by individuals or groups, and that no decision will be fully consensus-based. Accepting constructive criticism is also part of public service that is free of populism.
Citizens are key partners in expediting positive change and benefitting from it. We must all stand in unity against those who seek to maintain the status quo to protect their personal interests, or out of fear of stepping out of their comfort zones and putting in the needed efforts and sacrifices for the benefit of all.
We keep up with change to capitalise on the opportunities it offers, with the courage of our convictions and an unwavering belief in our values and principles. We protect these principles using the best dynamic tools of the modern age. And with this conviction, we forge ahead — unencumbered by narrow-mindedness — into a vast horizon of openness to a new era. We break the stalemate to move forward instead of settling for the status quo.
Brothers and sisters,
I do not see a place for us but at the forefront of change, according to a comprehensive national vision, with clarity of purpose and methodology; unhindered by hesitation, improvisation, or narrow interests; moving forward in implementation, supported by administrative and economic reforms.
To this end, I have directed our Royal Hashemite Court to start organising a national workshop that brings together economic experts, in cooperation with the government, to devise a comprehensive vision and a roadmap for the coming years that guarantees unleashing Jordan’s potential to achieve sustainable, comprehensive growth that doubles job opportunities, expands the middle class, and improves living conditions to ensure a better quality of life for citizens.
Work is also under way to develop a mechanism that ensures close follow-up on the implementation of this vision across all sectors, and to ensure the necessary steps are taken to overcome obstacles. Our goal is for this mechanism to guarantee continuous progress by governments and officials, without the redrafting of plans and strategies as one government replaces another.
This mechanism will proceed under my close follow-up, so that this comprehensive national vision, including its plans and programmes, forms the reference point for all government designation letters, with each government building on the achievements of its predecessor, and achievements continue, bearing fruit as comprehensive reforms, efficient services, economic and administrative development, and job opportunities.
This nation was built by its people who firmly believed in it, and excelled and sacrificed. Our duty is to build on their efforts. The choices we make today will chart the future of the next generations. Let us work together, in mutual trust, faith and solidarity to provide a decent life in our homeland, for the present and the future.
May God grant us all success in shouldering our responsibilities in service of a nation we are proud to belong to and whose achievements we hold dear. I have infinite faith in my dear people. You are the source of hope and determination, and serving you is the ultimate purpose to which I have dedicated my entire life.