Jordan’s Queen Noor, who has assumed the mantle of raising land-mine awareness since the 1997 death of Princess Diana of Wales, will arrive in Cambodia on Sunday to urge increased resources for mine victims.
The US-born queen’s two-day visit comes in conjunction with a visit by representatives from the Washington-based Land Mine Survivors Network, a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Queen Noor assumed the role of patron for the network after Diana’s death.
Her trip here marks the first time since the late 1996 visit of Malaysia’s king and queen that Cambodia has welcomed a royal guest of this stature, but unlike their four-day stop, Queen Noor’s is not an official state trip, palace officials said Tuesday.
She will, however, be greeted Sunday at the airport by Queen Norodom Monineath and receive an audience in the throne room during her visit, according to organizer and Land Mine Survivors Network consultant David Hawk.
Queen Noor also is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen, officials from various ministries, NGOs, the National School of Prosthetics and mine victims in the city and the countryside. After a quick stay in Phnom Penh, she will spend a day at Angkor Wat, Hawk said.
Archie Law, the country program manager for the Mines Advisory Group, said the queen’s visit will go a long way toward raising awareness for land mine victims.
“Since Diana’s death, people tend to think that the land-mine victims issue is under control,” he said. “This visit reminds them that it’s still a living issue, that people still are affected.”
In her role as the network’s patron, Queen Noor recently met with US President Bill Clinton, urging him to increase resources to land-mine victims worldwide, according to the group.
On Friday and Saturday, Queen Noor will spend two days in Vietnam to address similar land mine victims’ concerns before she travels to Cambodia, Hawk said.
When Queen Noor’s husband, the venerable King Hussein, died of cancer earlier this year, Cambodia’s flags flew at half-mast and both Hun Sen and King Norodom Sihanouk sent her their condolences.
She received a degree from Princeton University in the US, traveled and worked in Jordan and in 1978 married the late King Hussein. Her other public works include patronships or presidencies at the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and other organizations.
, the World Conservation Union, Birdlife International, the United World Colleges and International Alert’s Women and Peace-building Campaign.