HPC participates in the UN Commission on Population and Development

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sunday, April 15, 2018

HPC Secretary General, Maisoon Al Zoubi said that Jordan seeks to take consistent steps to ensure the inclusion of sustainable development goals in national policies, strategies and programs and make progress at the national and sub-national levels through a comprehensive national database.

Attending the 51st session of the Commission on Population and Development at the UN in New York, Al Zoubi noted that Jordan strongly believes in the link between sustainable development and population dynamics in general and demographic transition, in particular.

Al Zoubi explained that the rapid population growth and urbanization in the past decades in Jordan have led to an increase in poverty rates, food insecurity, unemployment, and has resulted in significant pressure on the infrastructure, the environment, natural resources, energy, and the availability of decent housing and social services for people with limited income.

Al zoubi noted that Jordan has put in place policies, strategies and legislation to support sustainable development, the "Jordan 2025", which defines the path for the future and the integrated economic and social framework that will govern economic and social policies based on providing opportunities for all, noting that the government supported the National Green Growth Plan 2017-2025.

Al Zoubi added that Jordan has actively participated in regional and international efforts and affirmed its commitment to relevant international agreements, including the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development "Habitat III", the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Eco-Cities Forum launched by Jordan as a regional initiative for Mediterranean countries.

Al Zoubi said that achieving national goals and building sustainable cities requires the adoption of urban planning policies to control urbanization and ensure adequate services and infrastructure to accommodate the population increase.

In her speech, Al Zoubi added that Jordan is moving ahead with policies to achieve energy security by diversifying energy sources and increasing the contribution of renewable energy to the total primary energy mix, thus significantly reducing "greenhouse gas emissions", noting in this regard that "a national masterplan on energy efficiency has been adopted to increase energy efficiency to 20% by 2020 compared to 7.1% in 2016”. Al Zoubi said that the Jordanian government is taking steps to enhance its water resources by improving supply and demand management, improving domestic, industrial, commercial and agricultural water supply systems, and implementing efficient and renewable energy projects to reduce the energy costs of the water sector. Al Zoubi added that Jordan is on its path to increase the percentage of households with access to sanitation services to 70% by 2019.

Regarding the transportation sector in Jordan, Al-Zoubi said that the transportation sector has made remarkable progress in recent years, but "there are still challenges, as the sector needs to improve public transportation services, finalize the restructuring process, update its legislation, encourage private sector investments in transportation, implement major public railway projects and provide logistics facilities that meet international standards.”

On the issue of migration, Al-Zoubi said that international migration and human mobility has been at the forefront in the past seventy years in Jordan, with waves of migrants forced to flee to Jordan due to political conflict and wars, adding that "such migrations have affected various aspects of life in Jordan and severely affected its limited natural resources and human resources." Al Zoubi added that Jordan "plays an undeniable humanitarian role by hosting more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees over the past years, despite its scarce resources and assistance from the international community not meeting actual demand" adding that this "has led to a significant increase in population growth rates, changing the demographics, and delaying the realization of the demographic dividend.”

Al Zoubi elaborated that "the large numbers of Syrians entering the Jordanian labor market, especially in the informal sector, have greatly reduced the number of available of jobs for Jordanians,” pointing out that "the increasing rate of child marriage, unregistered births and child labor among Syrians in Jordan leads to negative social and cultural consequences." Al-Zoubi said that “Jordan, nonetheless, adopts a humanitarian approach, and continues to serve as a leading example in the region and the world in dealing with the refugee crisis," explaining that "such success requires sustained and enhanced support from key partners to maintain Jordan's resilience and mitigate the impact of unprecedented regional crises." "Regarding land use, she said that land use is a common theme for development efforts, as well as the need to raise the standard of living in rural areas. Ignoring rural development often leads to unpredictable internal migration waves from rural to urban areas and an unequal distribution of population across the country; Thus ensuring an equitable distribution of development gains to reduce internal migration is essential.

Al Zoubi noted that, "according to latest estimates, about one million Jordanians live outside Jordan, most of whom are highly qualified and skilled. On the other hand, 2017 estimates indicate that Jordan has about 1.7 million foreign nationals working in various professions." "The influx of refugees from different nationalities has led to many challenges, especially in terms of population. With the number of non-Jordanians reaching nearly 2.9 million, population growth rates have increased dramatically and the ability to realize the expected demographic dividend has become a challenge," Al Zoubi said. The 2015 population and housing census results indicated an increase of 1.9 percentage points in internal migration compared to 2004, where 714,082 individuals (10.9%) of the Jordanian population were involved in internal migration in 2015.