Dubai: Senior officials from across the region on Tuesday concluded the two-day Abu Dhabi Dialogue in Dubai, with the UAE set to take over the chairmanship of the inter-governmental forum from Sri Lanka, whose two-year term will conclude at the Fifth Ministerial Consultation in the autumn of 2019. It will be the second time that the UAE has chaired the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, having been central to its establishment in 2008.

With the first day of the summit focused on the future of work, the second day was dedicated to a regular meeting of senior officials from 15 countries to discuss improving the governance of cross-border labour mobility.

Senior officials discussed the four current initiatives of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue: the use of technology in managing the recruitment and deployment of workers, the provision of orientation and information programmes to workers, certifying and recognising skills and the development of competency standards for domestic workers.

In addition, senior officials considered a presentation from UN Women on incorporating gender-responsive programming into policymaking, discussed the introduction of Future of Work initiatives under the Abu Dhabi Dialogue and adopted an agenda for the 5th Ministerial Consultation.

Dr Omar Al Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary for International Relations and Communications, Ministry of Human Resources said, “It is a great honour for the UAE to be selected as the next Chair of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue. The ADD has gained international recognition over the last ten years for its path-breaking work to improve the governance of labour mobility within our region.

“Priorities for our chairmanship will include deepening member state engagement, introducing new and future-focused programmes that respond to the changing nature of work in the Gulf region, as well as continuing to strengthen protections for vulnerable temporary workers. Under Sri Lanka, the Abu Dhabi Dialogue has gone from strength to strength and we look forward to building on their legacy.”

W.A. Chulananda Perera, Secretary, Ministry of Telecommunications, Foreign Employment and Sports, Government of Sri Lanka and Chair-in-Office of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, commented, “Today’s meeting was key in setting the future direction of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue and preparing for the Ministerial Consultation. We have made excellent progress over the last two days, including an extensive discussion on the Future of Work, and in-depth looks at the main ADD collaborative tracks.

“The ADD is continuing to develop innovative approaches to improving labour mobility governance. By enabling international organisations, civil society and the private sector to meet with government, we create a space for open discussion and share best practices. We welcome the United Arab Emirates as the incoming Chair and look forward to working closely with them in the future.”

Membership of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue consists of the governments of ten sending labour countries and seven receiving countries in Asia. UN agencies, including the ILO, the International Organisation for Migration and UN Women, as well as civil society and private sector representatives also regularly attend.