Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 1 WANA Forum

June 11 Opening day of the WANA Forum. We all had the great honor of meeting His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal. The honor is for the deep thoughtful and brilliant comments on building a pluralistic and mutually respectful society.
The names for "immigrants" at the forum was " the uprooted," distinguishing between Internally Displaced People, such as the Marsh Arabs in Iraq, and people dispossessed by war, lack of environmental resources, dams, and other catastrophes.  There are  20 million displaced people in the world, and the majority are women and children. HRH called for a "more just world" by eliminating: 1) inequitable distribution of assets; 2)Enhancing the capacity of the poor to generate assets by building capacity, enabling and empowering them;  3) eliminating unequal distribtion of markets, inability to get credit or startup capital; and  4) Unjust lack of access to education.and health care. Delightfully, HRH ended his talk quoting  Kung Fu Panda "Yesterday is history. tomorrow is mystery. Today is a present, that's why we call it a gift."
Today we learned about the 1,600,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, and 8,000 pour across the borders of Jordan every day. There are also 160,000 Palestinian refugees in Jordan. By keeping their borders open to refugees, the host countries like Jordan are providing an incredible international service.
"The pillars of faith are an important part of the solution, we need to "to feed the uprooted our of love for the prisoners of war." said Dr. Hang el Benna, of the Humanitarian Forum
Andrew Harper, UNHCR, discussed the problem all countries are concerned about, which is the potential security threat of the uprooted. the young men without potential for education or earning a livelihood are vulnerable to radicalization. Also, the sovereignty, stability and provision of social services tax the host country.
Forum members in the workshop at the end of the day provided written reccomendations for solutions to some of these obstacles. A major initiative is to include protection of refugees in the Millineum Development Goals and present our reccomendations to the G20 summit in October 2013 

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