Queen Noor praises Rotary’s 'chorus of hope'
Top: Queen Noor of Jordan is thanked by RI President John Kenny during the third plenary session on 22 June at the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal.
Bottom: Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, speaks to attendees at the plenary session. Photos by Monika Lozinska Lee/Rotary Images
Queen Noor of Jordan addressed attendees of the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, on 22 June during the third plenary session, highlighting the importance of building sustainable communities through the work of The Rotary Foundation and of collaborating with like-minded organizations.
While conflicts and other global challenges make achieving stability seem like a daunting task, Queen Noor said Rotary can make a significant contribution through its international network of dedicated clubs and its strategic alliances with other organizations, moving the world in the direction of progress and peace.
"For the first time in human history, as our world becomes ever more connected, [we have] the capacity to truly unite peoples and cultures in the pursuit of prosperity, sustainability, and peace," she said. "I want to thank you for pioneering the path of great partnerships and alliances. Rotary International has shown for the past 100 years that the most powerful agent of change is people, united. In this next century, may we find a way through coalitions of peace and justice to convince the world to join Rotary’s chorus of hope."
She praised the Rotary Peace Centers as well as the polio eradication effort, which she recalled promoting in Jordan in the late 1980s.
"I remember going into rural areas and giving oral vaccines to small children while their mothers looked on," Queen Noor said. "The real gift of polio [eradication] is peace. Eradicating polio will be one of the great building blocks of peace for decades to come."
Queen Noor also discussed her work, which focuses on saving the environment and eliminating nuclear weapons with the Global Zero program as part of a holistic approach to building stability worldwide. "Now is the time to renew our collective effort for a nuclear-free world," she said.
During the same session, Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Glenn E. Estess Sr. reviewed the impact the Foundation made this year in places such as Haiti. "When the earthquake struck, Rotarians had 33 projects in water, health, and education ongoing," he said. "The connections necessary to bring urgent relief were already in place."
Estess reminded Rotarians that voluntary donations, not club dues, make the work of the Foundation possible. "Because of your generosity, Rotary projects will bring the Haitian people what they need: prosthetic limbs, school equipment, bedding and clothes, the means to grow food and purify water. Because of your generosity, we will be able to keep working, month after month, year after year, to help Haiti heal."
Jo Luck, president of Heifer International and a member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, also spoke during the third plenary session, emphasizing the power of pooling forces with other organizations to carry out more effective service projects. Heifer International and Rotary clubs have collaborated on sustainable development projects in 20 countries, many focusing on livestock and microcredit programs. Luck said the effect of Service Above Self is not always immediately apparent.
"Your commitment to Rotary service projects is critical, but you may seldom have the opportunity to hear the details of the impact," Luck said. "But always know you have made a difference."