Her Majesty Queen Noor

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Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and an outspoken voice on issues of international exchange and understanding of Arab, Muslim and Western relations, and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security issues in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding.

Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation and the King Hussein Foundation have transformed development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of poverty eradication and women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange. The Foundations provide training and assistance in implementing these best practice programs in the broader Arab and Asian regions.

She is also one of the OceanElders.

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King Hussein Foundation

The King Hussein Foundation awards the annual King Hussein Leadership Prize to individuals, groups or institutions that demonstrate inspiring and courageous leadership in their efforts to promote sustainable development, human rights, tolerance, social equity and peace. In May 2007, KHFI launched an annual Media and Humanity Program during New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival to promote media projects that bridge social, political and cultural divides with special emphasis on the Middle East and Muslim world.

Initially inspired by the first Earth Day in 1970, Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. Not long after her marriage, Queen Noor became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the Middle East’s first environmental NGO responsible for planning nationwide nature reserves, environmental clubs and the integration of biodiversity concepts into curricula throughout the school system, the region’s first eco-tourism/rural development projects and programs to regulate diving, protect endangered marine species, clean up coastal beaches and shores. RSCN programs have become models for conservation and sustainable development, and have also provided training and capacity building to institutions throughout the Middle East.

The Queen founded an NGO for the protection of Jordan’s coastline and supported the establishment of the Gulf of Aqaba’s Marine Science Station. She also founded the Arab World’s first children’s museum, the Children’s Heritage and Science Museum, and in 1988 the Mobile Life and Science Museum, an outreach program targeting young people in rural areas both providing computers, books, exhibits, and hands-on educational and recreational activities focused on environmental protection, health, the sciences, and Jordan’s history.

Queen Noor chaired Jordan’s National Commission in 1990 which developed Jordan’s National Environment Strategy, the region’s first, and Jordan’s Environment Law which set standards for water use and quality, specifications to measure and control air pollution, and conditions for the establishment and operation of wild and aquatic nature reserves. It has imposed stringent fines on vessels polluting the marine environment, and ensured that factories and vehicles reduce their emissions within a limit set by the environmental council.

The Queen is Patron of IUCN, the oldest international conservation organization in the world, Founding President and Honorary President Emeritus of BirdLife International, and trustee emeritus of Conservation International. In 1995, Queen Noor received the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award for her activism in environmental protection, in promoting awareness, and in initiating community action for the preservation of Jordan’s natural heritage. Queen Noor has also been honored with the Healing the Planet Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.

Queen Noor has traveled extensively throughout the Balkans since her first humanitarian mission in 1996 after the tragic fall of Srebrenica. She is a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), created through the Dayton Accords to promote reconciliation and conflict resolution through the search for, recovery, and identification of missing persons from the armed conflicts in the Balkans. ICMP’s groundbreaking forensic DNA identification system is the leading provider of DNA-assisted identifications to governments worldwide dealing with catastrophes and human rights cases.

A long-time advocate for a just Arab-Israeli peace and for Palestinian refugees, she is a board member of Refugees International and an outspoken voice for the protection of civilians in conflict and for displaced persons around the world.

Queen Noor has been an advisor to, and global advocate for, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines since 1998, travelling to Central and Southeast Asia, the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America to advocate with governments, support NGOs, and visit with landmine survivors struggling to recover and reclaim their lives.

She is a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement working for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. She represented Global Zero at the historic 2009 UN Security Council meeting, which endorsed the goal of global zero, and was an advisor to the 2010 film Countdown to Zero- a powerful documentary film about the escalating global nuclear arms threat.

Queen Noor is also actively involved in a number of other international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery such as the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Seeds of Peace, Council of Women World Leaders, and Women Waging Peace. She is also President of the United World Colleges, a Trustee of the Aspen Institute, and a Board Member of America Near East Refugee Aid.

In recognition of her efforts to advance development, democracy and peace, Queen Noor has been awarded numerous awards and honorary doctorates in international relations, law and humane letters.

Authorship

She has published two books, Hussein of Jordan (KHF Publishing, 2000) and Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life (Miramax Books, 2003), a New York Times best seller published in 17 languages.

OceanElders

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