Technology changing demands for various skills, Pak envoy tells Abu Dhabi Dialogue

Published February 12, 2024
Pakistan’s Ambassador to UAE Faisal Niaz Tirmizi attends the concluding session of the ministerial consultation of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue on Feb 11. — Radio Pakistan
Pakistan’s Ambassador to UAE Faisal Niaz Tirmizi attends the concluding session of the ministerial consultation of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue on Feb 11. — Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, has said technology is changing demands for various skills and there is dire need to be innovative in meeting changing labour demands.

Speaking at the concluding session of the ministerial consultation of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue on Sunday, Mr Tirmizi said time has come for diversifying skill sets and engagement aimed at developing skills mobility partnerships.

Pakistan is the current chair of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, which was established in 2008 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation among Asian countries of labour origin and destination to enable safe, orderly and regular labour migration to some of the world’s largest temporary labour migration countries.

The ambassador said that the platform had a key role to play in establishing the principle of protecting rights of migrant workers, which is the common responsibility of labour-sending and labour-receiving countries.

The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is more than just a forum for discussing policy approaches to the management of temporary labour migration. It plays a crucial role in the creation, development and oversight of pilot projects and programmes designed to improve the governance of labour migration, he said.

Need stressed for innovative approach in meeting changing labour demands

Technology has an increasingly important role to play in the governance of labour mobility. In particular, the ADD platform offered the prospect of creating effective solutions to current challenges, including increasing transparency in the recruitment process, lowering costs of recruitment, creating platforms for worker organisation and facilitating information flow between various authorities to improve oversight through the migration cycle.

The ambassador said there were several challenges that member states faced in building a fully integrated, regional digital labour platform.

Although the technology required to create such a platform is widely available, challenges fall into three broad areas: a) the calibration of regulatory standards between member states and subsequent integration of current national level IT systems; b) issues relating to data sovereignty, hosting and security; and c) the sharing of burdens on costs and fees.

To meet these challenges, he said, it was crucial that the system be structured against clearly defined goals and policies, rapidly adaptable to changing requirements, and built to be resilient to unpredictable shocks to the system.

Mr Tirmizi lauded efforts of the forum focusing on women in green jobs and that women can fill critical skills gaps in industries including renewable energy. He said, “Climate change and natural disasters including floods are the gravest challenges that have emphasised the significance of collective efforts to mitigate losses and build back better. The outcome of COP28 under the UAE presidency has reaffirmed the need to counter this challenge.”

The ambassador thanked the Abu Dhabi Dialogue secretariat for the support it extended during the current chair’s term. During the chairmanship of Pakistan, the Abu Dhabi Dialogue was actively involved in various international forums. One notable contribution of the forum was its active participation in the International Migration Review Forum through the execution of two significant initiatives.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024

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