ILO Chief Calls for Collective Action in Arab States Amid Work Challenges

May 2, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-ilo

The increasing obstacles the workforce in the Arab region are witnessing, demand united endeavors and collaborative partnerships, including the Global Coalition for Social Justice, said the  ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo at this year’s Arab Labour Conference (ALC) in Baghdad.

“It is only by working towards a common vision that can we rise to the challenges facing the world of work today, seize opportunities, and advance towards a future with social justice for all,” Houngbo told delegates during the ALC opening session.

The Global Coalition, spearheaded by the ILO, is an initiative that aims to promote collaborative efforts, enhance global social justice, and expedite the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With over 200 partners onboard, including governments, labour and employer groups, and civil society organisations, it has garnered substantial support, notably from various stakeholders in the Arab region.

“This month, the League of Arab States decided to join the Coalition, an addition I am proud of and deem to be a historic feat for the ILO, the Arab world, and social justice worldwide,” Houngbo said.

This year’s ALC included Arab Labour Organisation Director-General Fayez Al Mutairi’s report to the conference on the impact of the technological revolution on human resources. 

The conference included discussions on the impact of AI and technology on the world of work and celebrated key achievements in the Arab world.

During his address at the opening session, the Director-General said that o help address the labour market impact of the ongoing war, the ILO created an Emergency Response Programme for which it has launched a USD20 million appeal. Houngbo told the delegates that the ILO response has so far benefitted over 9,000 Gazan workers stranded in the West Bank, and it has allowed the organisation to collect data on the war’s impact on the Palestinian labour market to further help inform the agency’s response. 

The ILO has also partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to launch an Emergency Employment Scheme in Gaza to deliver jobs and critical health and municipal services, the organisation said in a statement. 

Moreover, Houngbo stressed the pivotal role of the Arab region in the global transition towards a low-carbon economy and the potential that it holds for the region.

“By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we can pave the way for a more inclusive, resilient, and prosperous future for the Arab world,” he said, noting that the Arab region could create ten million new jobs by 2050 through decarbonisation and green industrial growth.


The HR Observer

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