HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan delivered the fifth talk in the 2009 series of the Edinburgh Lectures last week to an audience of dignitaries, academics and representatives.
The sell-out lecture, entitled 'Inching Towards Peace: A New International Humanitarian Order', addressed the challenges facing the global community, such as nuclear proliferation, water shortages, unemployment, war, and the environment.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, who hosted the lecture, also formally admitted the Prince as an Honorary Fellow on the night, as the president praised his “long commitment to humanitarian issues”.
The Prince emphasized the need for global cooperation and a multilateral approach in dealing with the challenges, whilst calling for talks that are “inclusive of all, exclusive of none”.
When speaking of the urgent need to develop strong dialogue between different faiths and religions, he stressed that it was necessary for nations to work together towards a common goal, and that “we cannot banish the spectre of perpetual conflict without first helping the poor, the alienated and the marginalized”.
HRH underlined the need for holistic approaches when dealing with the problems of nations, and that the challenges they face are going to become too entangled in the future to easily separate cause from effect.
The talk stressed the importance of countries working together in security matters, which he said could not be achieved if nations did not “share a common code of conduct on security, economy and human development”.
Eight points on how to appropriately deal with these challenges were mapped out, including respect for human life, recognition of human dignity, and a sense of responsibility for future generations.
According to the Prince, these values are “intrinsic to the collective consciousness of mankind”.
In terms of regional politics and conflict in the Middle East, where Jordan is thought of as one of the few stable countries, the Prince commented that it was necessary to establish mechanisms that would safeguard investment and increase the carrying capacity for populations that continue to grow.
Regarding the regions’ resources, HRH stated they must be used in a non-degradable manner, helping to sustain the environment for the coming generations.
Prince El Hassan has played a major role over the years in international organisations, especially the UN, and has founded multiple organisations and foundations.
The annual Edinburgh Lecture Series is in its 18th consecutive year; this year's theme is 'Making Scotland'.