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Monday, June 10, 2024

UAE showcases labour market achievements at International Labour Conference

A delegation from the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), led by His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, took part in the 112th International Labour Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, which brought together governments of member states in the International Labour Organisation (ILO), along with representatives of employers and workers.

Al Awar delivered a keynote address at the Conference, where he said: “The International Labour Conference is taking place at a time of mixed backdrop of optimism for economic recovery, driven by technological innovations, investments in renewable energy and the green economy, and the notable efforts being made to achieve sustainable development globally.”

He added: “These factors all align with the sustainable vision of the United Arab Emirates, which, under the directives of its wise leadership, remains committed to investing in people – the most vital and sustainable of all investments. This, in turn, sets the stage for driving significant development across all government initiatives and projects, serving as the basis for making government decisions, as well as a metric for measuring their success.”

He highlighted the UAE’s leadership on the world stage in terms of addressing the economic challenges of our time. “The UAE is steadily progressing in its transformational journey towards a diverse economy based on knowledge and innovation, fulfilling one of the most ambitious goals of UAE Centennial 2071 Plan,” he noted in his speech. “This progress has enabled sustainable economic growth, supported by a range of agile and competitive labour market laws and policies that enhance the economy’s ability to create millions of job opportunities, firmly positioning the UAE as a global destination for living, working, and investing, according to various international reports.”

“The UAE labour market grew at a rate exceeding 10%, with green jobs now accounting for approximately 11% of it, according to data from the UAE Labour Market Observatory that we recently launched,” Al Awar revealed. “The UAE was one of the first Middle Eastern countries to set a goal to achieve climate neutrality with investments of around AED600 billion in clean energy projects planned until 2050. These efforts have helped reduce unemployment rates to their lowest levels at 2.9%.”

The Minister noted that “the UAE has launched a comprehensive social protection strategy that covers nearly eight million workers in the UAE against unemployment. The strategy also includes an insurance programme to protect workers’ financial entitlements, while a voluntary Savings Scheme allows private sector employees to invest their end-of-service gratuities in reliable investment funds, providing them with additional returns. While the health insurance system was expanded to include all residents in the UAE without distinction.”

He underlined the UAE’s significant humanitarian role, which is rooted in its commitment to supporting sustainability and international development. “With its sizeable foreign aid and grant programmes, the UAE has played a crucial role in ensuring social justice for the less fortunate people and communities around the world,” he asserted. “The UAE has contributed to combating poverty and providing food through the World Food Programme, launching a range of initiatives to improve quality of life and ensure access to education and healthcare services.”

Minister Al Awar reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to enhancing bilateral and regional cooperation towards regulating labour markets in the region, as it assumes the role of Permanent Secretariat of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, a leading regional consultative platform dedicated to enhancing governance of temporary labour migration. This includes exchanging innovative initiatives to ensure workers’ wellbeing in a thriving business community and maximising benefits for the economies of member states in the Dialogue, which are brought about by the movement of labour through the Asia corridor.

The UAE delegation includes His Excellency Jamal Al Musharakh, UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva; Her Excellency Shayma Al Awadhi, Assistant Undersecretary for Communication and International Relations at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE); Her Excellency Farida Al Ali, MoHRE’s Assistant Undersecretary for National Human Resources Employment; His Excellency Khalifa Khamis Al Kaabi, Member of the International Labour Organisation’s Board of Directors representing employers; and Counsellor Zayed Saeed Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Coordination Committee for Professional Associations, along with other MoHRE officials, business leaders, and representatives from non-governmental organisations in the UAE.

The International Labour Conference runs until 14 June 2024 and discusses topics related to decent employment, the welfare economy, and the growing importance of the social contract, which requires constant renewal amid current economic, geopolitical, and structural challenges. The event also explores strategies for protection against biological hazards and discusses the strategic objective of fundamental principles and rights at work, among other related topics.

The Conference also featured a special tribute to His Excellency Khalifa Khamis Al Kaabi, Member of the ILO Board of Directors representing employers and Member of the Board of Directors of the International Organisation of Employers, in recognition of his role in managing UAE employer affairs in the organisation and his achievements that contributed in highlighting how employers could benefit from the innovative legislative framework the UAE Government provides for investors.

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