GCC labor ministers to unify labor market: Subaih
Social development strategy approved
RIYADH: The GCC Council of Labor and Social Development Ministers discussed unification of GCC labor market and creation of job opportunities for GCC citizens, a Kuwaiti minister said yesterday. Kuwaiti Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs Hind Alsubaih said, at the conclusion of the Ministers’ 33rd meeting, that teams of experts were to be formed: one to find means of naturalizing foreign laborers, while the second to tackle unifying domestic labor regulations among the GCC countries.
The meeting also pointed out that vocational training and education should be subordinate to labor markets’ requirements, Subaih said. In addition, the meeting discussed the possibility for having new laborers to sit written and skill examinations before entering fore work. All these discussions to setting up a joint labor market should be realized within the next three years, with regular meetings every month, the minister pointed out.
The ministers discussed during their meeting joint strategies in the field of labor and social development, most importantly the realization of one GCC citizenship concept where GCC laborers can move between GCC countries without any restrictions.
Saudi minister of labor and social development Mufrej AlHaqabani said during the meeting, that concluded yesterday, that it is essential to form a team to realize this goal; in addition to job creation and the establishment of a joint GCC market. The ministers also discussed the status of foreign workers in their countries, the challenges facing their directorates, as well as the development goals for the year 2030.
The Council of Labor and Social Development Ministers in the GCC countries was established at the Manama conference in 1987 because of the critical historical phase the area was passing through and of the social and labor challenges, which are closely related to the development and wellbeing of Gulf citizens.
The GCC social and labor ministers have endorsed during their meeting a social development strategy to give new impetus to social development action in the region, Subaih had affirmed late Tuesday. The strategy includes 32 initiatives and the meeting formed a team of experts to implement these initiatives, Subaih said in a statement following the meeting held in the Saudi capital.
These initiatives were distributed to the GCC member states to be a roadmap, she said. She stated that the ministers discussed the unified law on the handicapped, indicating that the law was reviewed by the team before being endorsed by GCC leaders. The GCC states’ visions on boosting the voluntary action were also covered in the meeting, she said.
The minister revealed that the GCC secretariat will hold a forum in the first quarter of 2017, with the aim of unifying efforts and discussing means of activating the role of voluntary centers to attract youth for participation in several acts. The meeting’s agenda included several topics aiming to enhance the joint GCC action and implement the GCC supreme council’s resolutions pertaining to social affairs.
MARRAKESH: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met separately with President of Iraq Dr Fuad Masum, and with Burkina Faso’s President Rock Marc Christian Kabore on Tuesday. The meetings came on the sidelines of the UN’s 22nd session of Conference of Parties (COP 22) on climate change, held in Marrakesh, Morocco.
RIYADH: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs Hind Al-Subaih attends the 33rd GCC Labor Ministers meeting in Riyadh yesterday.