Social justice, decent work and respect for fundamental rights were at the heart of the recent popular uprisings, which have affected a number of Arab States.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, 2012 and 2013 were characterized by further political instability. The Syrian crisis continues to have severe consequences for neighbouring countries.
In the Arab world, the events of the past few years have made it clear that while countries can rank among the top Millennium Development Goal (MDG) performers in health and education, they suffer from distressed labour markets that ultimately lead to social and political unrest.
The Arab States require macro-policy coherence to enhance productivity and wages, reformed labour relations to enable workers and employers to participate effectively in decision-making, and expanded social protection systems to provide employment and livelihood security for all women and men.