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OIC seeks steps to reduce unemployment in Muslim countries

The two-day conference ‘Developing A Common Strategy for Manpower Development’ brings together 56 Islamic states as well as regional and international organizations. (SPA)
JEDDAH: The opening session of the senior officials’ preparatory meeting for the fourth Islamic Conference of Labor Ministers began on Wednesday in Jeddah.
The conference, which is jointly organized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and held under the theme “Developing A Common Strategy for Manpower Development,” brings together 56 Islamic states as well as regional and international organizations.
During the opening ceremony, Abdullah Abu Thunain, president of the fourth Islamic conference and deputy minister for inspection and development of the work environment at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, said: “This event provides a great opportunity to discuss and exchange views on the most important challenges facing the creation of job opportunities for our citizens.”
“The economic recession in several countries makes us think deeply about finding solutions and addressing the challenges facing youth and persons with disabilities in the job market,” he said.
“In Saudi Arabia, we have taken the initiative and launched the Vision 2030, which supports youth and empowers women in the job market to effectively contribute to building the national economy in light of the country’s current comprehensive development.”
“We will review and discuss the content of two important documents: OIC’s mutual recognition arrangement for skilled employees and the OIC-recommended bilateral agreement on manpower exchange,” he said.
Maruli A. Hasoloan, president of the third Islamic conference and director general of labor placement and employment development at the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower, expressed his appreciation to Saudi Arabia for organizing and hosting the conference.
He said that OIC member states sought to improve cooperation to reduce unemployment, improve workforces and ensure a healthy work environments in Islamic countries.
Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, OIC assistant secretary-general for economic affairs, praised the efforts made to expand the scope of work and relations between OIC member states.
The fourth Islamic Conference of Labor Ministers aims to explore labor market challenges in OIC countries and ways to generate and sustain job opportunities, as well as exchanging information on policies and successful programs.
On Thursday, the event will also address the implementation of youth employment programs, the activities of the OIC Occupational Safety and Health Network, and the OIC Public Employment Services Network.

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