ILO: decent work in the Arab region

Addressing the 35th Session of the Arab Labour Conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia underscored the need to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are translated into social justice for the people of the Arab region. In his address to delegates, Mr. Somavia emphasized that “This current model of globalization is not delivering for ordinary people. We are seeing disparities growing, discontent rising, and enemies of human security in every society fanning the flames of discord”.

The Conference, attended by more than 500 participants, brought together high-level government, employer and worker representatives from the ALO’s 22 member States.

In launching a two year plan of action with the Arab Labour Organization (ALO), Somavia highlighted the revitalized leadership of ALO Director-General Ahmed Luqman. The joint plan targets critical regional challenges including generating jobs especially for youth, expanding social protection and social dialogue, and promoting rights at work.

According to Somavia, the creation of decent work for all is an urgent question in a region faced with the need to create around 100 million jobs over the next 20 years.

The ILO Director-General acknowledged concrete achievements in the region on several fronts and highlighted the increasing emphasis on social dialogue.

“More and more, the fundamental issues of freedom of association and collective bargaining are being seen not just as ends in themselves, but also as means to harness growth and equity”, he said.

In a series of meetings with government, worker and employer representatives, Somavia reiterated the importance of Arab knowledge and expertise in addressing regional priorities. He underlined the diversity of the region and socio-economic complexities in a number of countries. In highlighting the specific situation in Palestine, the Director-General reaffirmed the ILO’s continued engagement, including through enhanced programmes, that will make a real difference in the lives of Palestinian women and men and build the foundations of a lasting peace.

He also announced plans to convene an Arab Employment Forum later this year to exchange ideas and develop common approaches to meeting the decent work challenge in the Arab world.

“To be sure, your aspiration to deliver decent work for your people faces many challenges”, Somavia said, “But I feel in all of you a determination to keep aiming higher.”

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1 Response to “ILO: decent work in the Arab region”


  1. 1 Ahmed LUQMAN July 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I’m very interested in pourin’ my skill to build a solid arab family workin’ world. I’m 20 years computer scientist and developped many businesses and i had a great plan that can be revealed but only after i have the answer of this very letter.
    Salam, ya akhi.


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