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In 2007 the Refugee Studies Centre celebrated 25 years of pioneering research into the causes and effects of forced migration. To mark this significant milestone HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan, a long term patron and supporter of the Centre, addressed its annual Human Rights lecture.

HRH spoke of his involvement in humanitarian and refugee issues over the last three decades and gave his reflections on global poverty, humanitarian need in the Middle East and prospects for peace in the region.

He spoke in particular of Jordan’s role in hosting Palestinian refugees and more recently its reception of around 1million Iraqi refugees who live below the poverty line and without access to basic services including education.

He talked about the need for regional and not country specific solutions to displacement crises, and with reference to Iraq he proposed the need for a federal state as a possible solution, linking this to wider issues of redistribution of oil wealth accumulated under Saddam Hussein.

He stressed the importance of interfaith collaboration and discussion – the need for “a conversation” – and for cultural sympathies to be part of such a dialogue.

He touched on issue of Western military intervention in Iran and its likely disastrous implications for peace and stability in the region and its potential to generate further extremism.

He proposed using the 60th Anniversary of the 1948 signing of the Human Rights Act to negotiate and new humanitarian consensus, moving away from the current architecture that is constructed by and favours the West. In this context he criticised the emphasis on the Millennium Development Goals which, while noble aims in themselves, cannot be achieved without an equal and clear commitment to peace-building, conflict prevention and respect for human rights.

HRH spoke to a full lecture hall at the University Museum of Natural History and was honoured with a dinner at Christ Church, his alma mater, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor.

About the speaker

His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal is the Crown Prince of Jordan. 

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