Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein is an international public servant and advocate for cross-cultural understanding, 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 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 advanced development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange.
Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. Shortly after her marriage in 1978, she became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the Middle East’s first environmental NGO responsible for nationwide nature reserves, environmental clubs, the integration of biodiversity concepts into school curricula, for the region’s first eco-tourism/rural development projects, and for regulating diving, protecting endangered marine species, and clean up of coastal beaches and shores. RSCN programs have become regional models for conservation and sustainable development providing training and capacity building.
The Queen also chaired Jordan’s National Commission in 1990 which developed Jordan’s National Environment Strategy, the region’s first such initiative, 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. She founded the Arab World’s first children’s museum in 1988 and its mobile wing targeting young people in rural areas with computers, and educational materials and recreational activities focused on environmental protection, the sciences, health, and history.
Internationally, she has focused on environmental conservation and human security with emphasis on water and Ocean health and protection issues. She is a Founding and Emeritus President of BirdLife International, Trustee Emeritus of Conservation International, member of the Ocean Elders and has received the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award among other honors for her activism.
Queen Noor is also involved with a number of other international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery. She is also President of the United World Colleges (UWC), a network of 17 equal-opportunity international IB colleges around the world which foster cross-cultural understanding and global peacebuilding; a Trustee of the Aspen Institute, Advisor to Search for Common Ground and Trust Women – the Thomson Reuters Foundation annual conference aiming to put the rule of law behind women’s rights.
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.