Palestinian Prime Minister: Restructuring national economy will create jobs for Palestinians

The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohamad Shtayyeh was amongst a large number of world leaders who expressed strong support for the ILO as it marks its 100th anniversary at the Centenary International Labour Conference.

News | 12 June 2019
High-level address by H.E. Mr Mohammed SHTAYYEH, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, to the 108th (Centenary) Session of the International Labour Conference. Geneva, 12 June 2019. © Crozet / Pouteau
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh was among world leaders who gathered at the Centenary International Labour Conference  (ILC) to reaffirm their commitment to the principle of social justice upon which the ILO was founded 100 years ago.
A total of over 40 heads of government and state will address the two-week long Conference, which is the 108th session of the ILC, running from June 10 to 21.

Addressing the Conference plenary, Prime Minister Shtayyeh said Palestinian workers, employers and government officials have long been strongly represented in the ILO. He thanked the ILO for its technical and financial support, including through ongoing work towards developing a comprehensive social protection system in the Palestinian Territory.

Shtayyeh recounted the many economic, labour market, political and humanitarian challenges facing Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

He recounted a number of initiatives and reforms his government was taking in order to counter these challlenges, including restructuring the Palestinian economy so that it gradually moves towards self sufficiency, largely through import substitution industrialization.

“Such a strategy will enable us to concentrate on the productive sectors of agriculture and industry in order to create jobs, generate income and increase the buying power of citizens, thus helping to address the imbalances in the labour market,” Shtayyeh told delegates.

“Investing in people’s capabilities and in institutions is important for the Palestinians, who are striving to build an independent Palestinian State that is capable of serving its citizens and meeting their needs,” the Prime Minister added.

During the Conference nearly 6,000 delegates – representing governments, workers and employers – will discuss transformative changes in the world of work, and will consider the adoption of a landmark ILO Centenary Declaration on the future of work. They will also discuss violence and harassment at the workplace with a view to adopting a new international instrument.

The ILO and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) last year embarked on the second Palestinian Decent Work Programme, for the period 2018-2022. The ILO has continued to support the OPT in strengthening labour market analysis capacity, sustainable employment creation and labour market development in the OPT. The ILO is also working with partners in the OPT to strengthen the legislative framework on labour matters, including the re-initiation of the Labour Law reform process, as well as to support the establishment of the Palestinian Social Security Corporation through both direct financial and technical support.

Prime Minister Shtayyeh’s full address to the ILC can be viewed here.

The ILO Director-General’s 2019 report on the situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories can be accessed here.