Her Majesty Queen Noor
05 February 2013 | Article
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
and the King Hussein Foundations
which she founded and chairs 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 programs in the broader Arab and Asian regions.
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 to the late King Hussein, Queen Noor became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), RSCN programs have become models for conservation and sustainable development, and have also provided training and capacity building to institutions throughout the Middle East.
She chaired Jordan’s National Commission in 1990 which developed Jordan’s National Environment Strategy, the region’s first, and Jordan’s Environment Law. The Queen also founded an NGO for the protection of Jordan’s coastline and supported the establishment of the Gulf of Aqaba’s Marine Science Station
Queen Noor is also Founding President and Honorary President Emeritus of BirdLife International, trustee emeritus of Conservation International and a member of the Ocean Elders. 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.
She's a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement working for the world wide elimination of nuclear and 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 and Refugees international. She is a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), which was created, in 1996, to promote reconciliation and conflict resolution through the search for, recovery, and identification of missing persons from the armed conflicts in the Balkans.
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.