2001 News Story

GCC signs agreement with ILO

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ali Al-Namlah is heading the Kingdom's delegation to the 18th session of the ministers of labor and social affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) currently taking place in Manama, Bahrain. During the session, the GCC and the International Labor Organization (ILO) signed an agreement to enhance existing cooperation and consultation between the two organizations on the best ways to develop labor rights and implement international labor standards. A workshop was held today on 'Labor and Social Work', and recommendations were discussed on how to increase job opportunities and facilitate manpower movement among the GCC member states.

Speaking on the occasion, GCC Secretary-General Dr. Jameel Al-Hujeilan pointed out that large numbers of expatriates constitute financial, security and social burdens. He commented that since development and construction processes in the GCC countries have been completed or are near completion, the need for foreign workers has changed. The GCC states, he said, still need a special category of foreign workers, but a distinction must be drawn between what is essential and what is not, and for the public good, meticulous standards must be followed, especially now that out of the total GCC population of 28 million, the number of foreign workers accounts for more than 10 million.