ILO Regional Director for Arab States completes official visit to Saudi Arabia
17 May 2023
Regional Director Ruba Jaradat met with government, employer and worker representatives and attended the annual Islamic Development Bank meetings.
The ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat has completed an official visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with government, worker and employer representatives in the country, and to participate in the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group Annual Meetings in Jeddah.
Regional Director Jaradat and an accompanying delegation of ILO officials met in the capital Riyadh with Vice Minister for Human Resources at the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development H.E. Abdullah Abuthnain and other ministry officials.
The meeting centred on a number of issues of mutual interest, including the upcoming 111th Session of the International Labour Conference as well as the implementation of the newly launched second phase of a joint development cooperation project , entailing ILO support to the ministry in capacity building and labour policy development. The significantly expanded new phase follows on from the success of the first phase of the project which began in 2018.
“Saudi Arabia has exerted serious efforts and launched numerous initiatives to reform the labour market, resulting in positive indicators such as rapidly falling unemployment rates and increasing labour force participation rates,” Jaradat said following the meeting.
“Saudi Arabia has taken positive and encouraging steps in realization of its 2030 Vision, including efforts towards the nationalization of jobs, increasing women’s participation rates in the labour force, increasing wages and boosting the private sector,” Jaradat continued.
Regional Director Jaradat and ILO officials also met with members of the National Committee for Workers Committees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, and of the Federation of Saudi Chambers at the Makkah Chamber.
At the IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Jaradat and the ILO delegation met with IsDB’s Assistant Director General for Global Practices and Partnerships Amer Bukvic. The meeting addressed the further implementation of an ILO-IsDB Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Joint Action Plan in the areas of youth employment and green jobs for a just transition. Regional Director.
Jaradat also participated as a speaker in the Youth Development Forum, the flagship annual standing event on the side-lines of the Annual Meeting, this year titled “From Crises to Resilience: Empowering the Youth for an Uncertain Future.” She highlighted the importance of youth employment, skilling and entrepreneurship in empowering young people and promoting a future of decent work.
Regional Director Jaradat also met with officials from the King Salman Relief Center and explored possible areas of collaboration in supporting livelihood and economic recovery that promotes economic well-being and resilience of communities, particularly in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia is a regular member of the ILO’s current Governing Body (2021-2024).