Abu Dhabi: Challenges and opportunities facing the development of human resources across the UAE and in the Gulf region are some of the topics that will be addressed in today's 14th annual conference of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR).

The conference titled Human Resources and Development in the Arabian Gulf will see 28 prominent speakers from the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, USA and UK.

Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, will deliver the keynote address at the opening session of the three-day conference starting today.

"The accelerated developments that the world has witnessed lately highlight the urgent need to study the issue of human resources and development. The objective of such a study is to propose mechanisms for boosting the efficiency of human resources. There is a top priority for all GCC countries to upgrade their human resources," said Dr Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, the director general of the ECSSR.

Some topics discussed in the conference include future requirements of the Gulf labour market, demographics and human development in the GCC countries, challenges facing workforce nationalisation in the Gulf and promoting the role of expatriate workers in supporting GCC economic development.

The impact of international and regional developments on human resources across the GCC countries and meeting future needs of the Gulf labour market, exposing the realities of economic diversification and assessing the effect of the global economic environment and the role Gulf and foreign investments plays in human resources development will also be discussed.

The event sponsored by Gulf News is being held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of the ECCSR.

"I am confident that the papers presented at this conference, and the ensuing in-depth discussions will provide an opportunity for a better understanding and a greater awareness of the issues raised, and will greatly assist the search for appropriate solutions," said Shaikh Mohammad.

Apart from Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif's keynote address, Prince Turki Al Faisal Bin Aziz Al Saud, Chairman of King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will deliver a second keynote address with Al Suwaidi making the welcoming remarks.

Some other key speakers include Dr Abdul Wahid Khaled Al Humaid, Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Labour, Dr Khalid Al Khazraji, former Under Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Former Head at the National Human Resources and Employment Authority in the UAE, Amat Al Alim Al Soswa, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of Regional Bureau for Arab States in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the USA and Dr Fatima Al Shamsi, Secretary General of UAE University.