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OIC ministers meet to debate labor strategy in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Labor market challenges faced by Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries will be explored at a two-day conference to be held in the Kingdom on Feb. 21-22.
Saudi Arabia is to host the fourth Islamic Conference of Labor Ministers (ICLM), on the theme “Developing a Common Strategy for Manpower Development.”
Maha Akeel, director of the OIC’s public information department, told Arab News that the conference would adopt the OIC labor market strategy, prepared by the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries.
The strategy will outline how OIC countries can cooperate to enhance employability, protect workers’ health and safety, promote productivity and reduce unemployment, she added.
Labor ministers from member countries will attend the conference, which has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the OIC.
The conference aims to explore ways of generating and sustaining job opportunities through exchanging information on policies and successful programs.
Ministers will discuss OIC labor market strategy, the OIC’s mutual recognition arrangement for skilled employees and the OIC-recommended bilateral agreement on manpower exchange.
Regional and international organizations will also discuss implementation of youth programs, OIC Occupational Safety and Health Network activities and the OIC Public Employment Services Network.
Implementation of the Youth Employment Support Program, which aims to support the creation of employment and develop more skilled workforces, will also be on the agenda.
OIC countries have a total labor force of nearly 800 million. Since its launch, the OIC has aimed to enhance technical and manpower cooperation among member states to build a better quality of life, promote productive employment and foster adequate social protection.
The last meeting of the ICLM was held in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in 2015.

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