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Population and development report

Development policy implications of age-structural transitions in Arab Countries

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This report shows that the Arab countries are currently undergoing profound age-structural transitions which will have significant implications for their development. It argues that countries can best manage and benefit from the consequences of the age structural transitions taking place across the Arab region by adopting a life course approach in analysis and policy. However, social and economic policies in the Arab countries have not succeeded in integrating this approach. This report therefore suggests reforms across social and economic policy areas, including labour market and social protection reforms, and suggests how the post-2015 UN Development Agenda can integrate a life course perspective. It brings a new urgency to the debate, arguing that transformational change is needed to integrate the needs and potentials of the different age groups in the Arab countries.

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Age-structural transitions and present and future development goals

The Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs) are a set of specific, time-bound goals agreed on by the Member States of the United Nations during the global summits and conferences held since 1990. The development agenda of the United Nations addresses the challenges of economic growth, social progress and sustainable development, and IADGs are often translated into national development agendas. As such, it is important to consider to what extent IADGs consider demographic aspects, and the relationship they have with the age-structural transitions underway in most Arab countries. For example, it should be considered whether they focus any attention on key population groups in the age-structural transition, such as youth or older persons, and address their needs and potentials. Equally, it is important to see how agestructural transitions in Arab countries can assist in meeting development goals. Finally, in the context of ongoing discussions on the future of the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, the MDG end date, there is a need to consider how these new goals can take age-structural transitions into account.

English

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