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Jordan's King Abdullah II says Global Summit challenges current Middle East turbulence By 'Building Bridges, Healing Wounds'
(Nov. 9, 2000) -- Jordan's King Abdullah ll, in a message to 450 delegates
attending today's opening session of the first Global Summit on
Peace through Tourism, said "the time is now for the entire
world to hear your message of peace and reconciliation echo loud"
at a time "when we are being reminded by persistent images
of painful suffering that justice delayed is tantamount to its
said in a written statement delivered by Prime Minister Ali Abu
Ragheb that "the dove of peace" is looking for refuge
from the "unfulfilled promises of peace," adding that
the current turbulence in the region threatens to throw the Middle
East "back into the abyss."
the summit message "challenges the bitter reality of hatred
and builds bridges, heals wounds, and advocates a better and safer
king said he was confident the Amman Declaration on Peace through
Tourism, to be issued at the conclusion of the Global Summit tomorrow,
would reflect positive expectations for peace and "live up
to the vision of the future that we all aspire to realize."
The king, Royal Patron of the Global Summit, told the travel and tourism leaders and tourism ministers from 60 countries that "an appropriate political and economic framework" with agreement by countries to co-exist peacefully is a pre-requisite for promoting understanding, trust and goodwill around the world. He called for a "singular code of conduct" based on "effective governance, democratic accountability, and private enterprise.”
that countries viewing tourism as a means of international cooperation
in addition to an economic growth vehicle would reach tourism's
full potential. Private
sector investment, management and operations are essential for
economic development, the King said.
based its tourism strategy on cooperation regionally and beyond.
"Tourism and travel are global by definition and by
nature," the king said, "and cannot thrive in any other
He said that the Jordan model could become "a pillar
in the peace building structure of the Middle East."
Abu Ragheb was introduced by Jordan's Minister of Tourism and
Antiquities Akel Biltaji who said summit delegates committed to
the "safety, comfort, and movement of people" through
tourism were well positioned to fulfill the late King Hussein's
commitment to peace for the current and future generations.
Harvey Golub, Chairman & CEO of American Express in his Global Summit Address, explained that he was addressing delegates in three different roles: first, as Chairman of the World Tourism and Travel Council, an organization that works with governments around the world to better understand the economic potential of travel and tourism and to foster policies capitalizing on that potential; second, in his capacity as Chairman of American Express; and third, as a dedicated tourist.
"We know the benefits our industry brings to a country.,
we know that travel and tourism does contribute to both
economic development and personal understanding, two conditions
that are prerequisites to maintaining peace.
Once a cycle of conflict is ended, stability is needed
-- the stability of governments, economies and personal intentions
that will hopefully make the recurrence of war less likely. And
those are conditions travel and tourism can impact."
on to explain his strong feelings about what travel can do to
help sustain a state of peace.
"The most important lesson travel can teach us is
not about our differences, but about our similarities...whenever
and wherever I go, I find this belief gets reinforced time and
time again. Helping
people come to this realization on their own is the first step
toward tolerance. And
that is what travel and tourism excels at -- opening not just
eyes, but minds and hearts. The American author Mark Twain wrote in his book
that 'travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow
mindedness.' I would
say he got it right."
significance of holding the Global Summit in Amman at this time
of conflict in the Middle East was reflecting in many of the other
Plenary Addresses. Nelson Mandela, Former President of the Republic
of South Africa and noble peace prize laureate, unable to be in
Amman due to illness, stated in an address read by H.E. Dr. Vincent
Zulu, South African Ambassador to Jordan, “Nowhere can the urgent
need for lasting and just peace be more forcefully demonstrated
than currently in this region.” He further noted that “We must
find the means to create a universal climate and mindset of peace.
In that way we shall also be influencing those situations where
there is no peace. The idea of tourism as a global peace industry
is one such exciting initiative.
Nations Under-Secretary-General Joseph Verner Reed, reading from
a statement prepared by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan praised
Summit participants. "It
does you credit that, in spite of [these adversed conditions],
you are going ahead with your Global Summit on Peace Through Tourism.
Indeed, this is a time when no stone should be left unturned
in the search for peace.
To think of tourism at a time of so much suffering in the
region may seem callous. Yet tourism should be encouraged as a way to make peoples in
different parts of the world more aware of each other's problems
and points of view. And
tourism has a vital role to play in the economy of the Middle
East -- not least in Jordan, a country whose tourist industry
is as thriving as it is unique."
Plenary speakers on Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November
10, will include Harvey Golub, Chairman and CEO, American Express;
Mr. Nelson Mandela former President, Republic of South Africa
and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Hon. Mary Robinson, Chairman,
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; His Serene Highness Crown
Prince Albert of Monaco; Jean Claude Baumgarten, President, World
Travel & Tourism Council; Francesco Frangialli, Secretary
General, World Tourism Organization; M.P. Bezbaruah, Chairman,
Pacific Asia Travel Association and Secretary, Ministry of Tourism,
India; Dr. Maritta-Koch-Weser, Director General, World Conservation
Union; Hon. Michael Afedi Gizo, President, Africa Travel Association
and Minister of Tourism, Ghana; Hon. Anwarul Karim Chowdhury,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United
Nations; Jean Louis Sarbib, Vice President World Bank Middle East
and North Africa Region. H.E. Akel Biltaji, Minister of Tourism
and Antiquities, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is Master of Ceremonies;
James M. Li, Executive Vice President, American Express and Chairman,
MEMTTA Americas, Plenary Moderator; Louis J. D'Amore, Founder
and President, IIPT, Summit Chair; and Dr. Noel Brown, President,
Friends of the United Nations, Summit Secretary General.
Pre- Summit Activities
Pre-Summit activities included a Ministers' Roundtable on the "Role of Governments in Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism"; the inaugural meeting of the IIPT Coalition of Partners for World Peace through Tourism as well as the inaugural meetings of IIPT's four international networks (Educators, Rural and Community, Spiritual and Indigenous; and a Regional Educators meeting. "Open Space" will be provided for other groups wishing to meet around common interests.
Summit began at 3:30 p.m. on November 8 with an Spiritual Gathering
at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ's baptism visited
by Pope John Paul ll during his recent pilgrimage to the Holy
Land. The Dead Sea was the dramatic setting for the welcome reception
the same evening, sponsored by Zara Investments and Movenpick
Hotels & Resorts at the Movenpick's Dead Sea resort.
The opening day lunch, sponsored by Air Harbour Technologies, was dedicated to the presentation of the first King Hussein Tourism Awards, presented to the individual and to the organization with outstanding achievement in contribution to the vision of "Tourism as a Global Peace Industry." HRH Prince Ra’ed Bin Zied presented the Awards. The first Award was presented to Dr. Ju-Yung Chung, Founder and Chairman Emiritus of Korea’s Hyundai Business Group for the development of the scenic Mt. Kumgang Region as a tourist resort and industrial resort which opened to the public in November 1998 in South Korea. Accepting the Award on his behalf was the Korean ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Jone Hwa Choe. The second Award was presented to the Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund. H.E. Madam Pave Zupan Ruskovic, Minister of Tourism for Croatia, as a co-founder of the Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund, accepted the award on behalf of the Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund. Also present at the ceremony was Earlene Causey, who then, as President of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), was a co-founder and President of the Fund.
the evening, a Reception and Gala Banquet, hosted by the Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan, will showcase "Jordan, The Cradle of Civilization."
Summit sponsors, in addition to Title Sponsor, American Express, include Gold Sponsor, Air Harbour Technologies; Silver Sponsors, Archaeology Magazine, Bass Hotels & Resorts, International Traders, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Zara Investments; Bronze Sponsors, ASTA Agency Management, b-there.com, Leisure Travel News, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Travel Counselor and Travel World News.
The IIPT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, preservation of heritage, and a peaceful, sustainable world.
Jordanian Airlines is the official air carrier for the Summit;
Austrian Airlines is a cooperating carrier. Grand Hyatt Amman
is the Summit Headquarter Hotel; other Summit Hotels include Amman
Marriott Hotel, Radisson SAS Hotel Amman, and Amman Inter-Continental
Hotel. International Traders, Amman, is providing Conference Management
International Institute for Peace Through Tourism