OIC ministers meet to debate labor strategy in Saudi Arabia

Updated 17 February 2018
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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.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 18 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”