Growth-employment-poverty relation discussed at joint ILO-ESCWA expert group meeting and training

The International Labour Organization’s Regional Office for Arab States (ILO- ROAS) and its International Training Centre (ITCILO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), organized an interagency expert meeting and training on campus, from 6 to 8 December 2016.

The event was designed as a first off awareness raising expert group meeting and training with the objective to strengthen constituents’ capacity to engage in national sustainable development strategies with a strong focus on linking decent work with inclusive growth. Twenty-three representatives of government, workers’ and employers’ organizations from the Arab region shared and discussed new insights and developments in relation to the growth-employment-poverty nexus, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda.

The weak growth-employment-poverty relation lies at the heart of the challenges of human wellbeing for the Arab region. The relatively high average economic growth of the region in the years prior to the Arab uprisings did not significantly improve incomes of the poor, nor did it generate enough decent jobs for the educated labour force. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, adopted in September 2015, has given new impetus to rethink and re-engineer the growth-employment-poverty relation, by providing an analytical framework which underscores interrelation and network approaches.

ILO experts provided input on the decent work dimension of the 2030 Agenda, underlining the centrality of Decent Work and Employment to achieve the 169 targets, emphasizing the importance of national employment policies, social protection frameworks and the importance of measuring decent work progress through selected sustainable development goal (SDG) indicators.

ESCWA shared insights, based upon latest reports and research on the link between economic growth, employment and poverty, including multidimensional poverty. Lack of structural transformation toward raising productivity, and creating decent jobs, explains the weak links in case of the Arab region.

Moreover, governance challenges in several countries remain a key barrier to address the weak links and to enhance human development, which is supported by an upcoming ESCWA research on analysis of governance adjusted human development index (GHDI).

The expert group meeting and training was completed successfully, with resulting action plans developed by the country delegations for deepening SDG engagement at the national level.



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