Jordan First

Jordan First



Jordan First is an attempt to define a new social accord between Jordanians, as it emphasizes the pre-eminence of Jordan's interests above all other considerations, and reformulates the state-individual relationship. Moreover, it goes beyond being a mere concept, as it will be translated into an investment in the Jordanian people, in their education, training, health and well-being to prepare them for a future that promises prosperity, knowledge and accomplishment. Jordan First is a constructive appeal and an approach that seeks to open new doors for policies and programs in development, education, culture, communication and information. Moreover, Jordan First represents an invitation to civil society institutions and the private sector to raise their contribution in building a modern state through focusing on achieving economic, social, and political development, creating productive opportunities, fighting poverty and unemployment, and improving the standards of living of all citizens. In summary, Jordan First is a philosophy of governance. It is based on the premise of placing Jordan's national interest at the forefront of all considerations of civil society.

To advance the liberalization process, the Jordan First campaign calls upon the government to deepen the sense of national identity among citizens and spread a culture of respect and tolerance to integrate and fortify a diverse, but united, national and social fabric that thrives in an atmosphere of justice, democracy, due process, and equal opportunity. To entrench a true sense of democracy, the government is also stipulated to enhance public freedom, as granted by the constitution, and systematically abide by the principles of accountability and transparency. In parallel, the government is required to vest tireless efforts in eradicating poverty and unemployment through devising national programs that aim at improving efficiency and productivity, particularly in the rural and less developed areas of the country.

The Jordan First campaign also aims to develop a new perception of the status of women in the Jordanian society. While effort has been vested in the past to elevate the social and economic status of women, several notable reforms have been carried out in recent years to elevate the social and economic status of women. These encompass introducing a women's quota in the upcoming elections as a temporary and transitional measure, in addition to introducing amendments to the Passport, Social Security and Citizenship laws. Furthermore, under a new temporary law announced at the closing the of the second Arab Women's Summit in November 2002, Jordanian women are now entitled to pass citizenship on to their children.

Jordan First also aspires to build an information model that places national interests at the forefront of its priorities. Jordan has always realized the significance and relevance of the press, and this is especially true in light of the recent efforts carried out to modernize the economy and civil society. The media in general, and the press in specific, remains to form an integral part of the government's communications strategy with its people. Updating the public and allowing them to express their views and concerns of the various reforms and initiatives is an integral part of the reform process. As such, and in support of this policy, an independent Higher Media Council was established, as a body comprised of both public and private sector organizations specialized in media. The Council's responsibilities encompass formulating media policy, overseeing the regulation of the media sector and assisting in the creation of a responsible and accountable media environment. This body, supported by amended media-related laws and regulations, has created a favorable climate for the press and other media outlets to create a vibrant and transparent media environment.

Jordan First also realizes that the Parliament is the vital pillar of any democratic state. It also emphasizes that true democracy cannot be attained without the active participation of viable political parties. These parties are institutions that must be fostered and respected for their intellectual and political ideologies.

Implementation Mechanisms

In order to turn this concept into reality, sets of mechanisms and applicable actions have been identified. These can be summarized as follows:

Adopting of a transparent and effective framework to translate the values and principles of social justice, equality, and the supremacy of the Law, and to develop the "civil service" concept as a basis for the relationship between employees and citizens.

Laying down plans and programs to guarantee the distribution of the fruits of development, especially in poor, remote and less advantaged areas. This requires expanding the Social and Economic Transformation Program (SETP), both horizontally and vertically, and allocating the needed resources thereto in a manner that guarantees the reflection of economic growth on the standards of living.

Intensification of the Government's efforts to enhance the citizens' productivity and alleviate poverty and unemployment, through programs such as the Enhanced Productivity Program (EPP), which aims to improve the standard of living for rural and disadvantaged persons by increasing access in the governorates to opportunities for sustainable enterprise development, community and infrastructure development.

Amendment of the election law in order to empower women to elect and be elected and guarantee the actual election of women to Parliament (i.e., women's quota).

Preparation of the judiciary system to cope with recent developments in the economic, social, technological, scientific and communications fields by proceeding with the reforms accomplished in the judiciary system in the recent years with a view to enhancing its independence and efficiency, modernizing legislation, training of judges and supporting the judiciary with sufficient numbers of new qualified judges, expediting the settlement of court cases, modernizing and providing court houses with the requirements for implementing their venerable tasks.

Revision of school and university curricula to teach youth and the upcoming generations the principles of democracy, justice, equality, and citizenship.

Developing extra-curricular school and university programs in order to deepen and disseminate these concepts to the largest possible extent among young men and women, with a view to serving the community.

Directing due attention and allocate the required financial resources to research and specialized scientific studies at universities and link these activities with the needs of the different national sectors.

Raising the standards of education to a balanced extent in all of the Kingdom's Governorates.