G7 Social High Level Meeting, Paris

Reducing inequalities for sustainable development

Paris Joint Statement of the French Minister of Labour, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Statement | Paris, France | 19 December 2019
Throughout the world, increased inequalities within countries pose risks to inclusive growth, economic stability and social cohesion, both in advanced economies and in developing countries. In the absence of strong and effective policy responses to citizens’ call for social justice and shared prosperity, high inequalities contribute to the erosion of trust in democratic institutions and may ultimately challenge the foundation of our rules-based international cooperation system.

At a time of weak growth, the world of work is also undergoing profound and rapid global changes, driven by technological innovations, demographic shifts as well as environmental and climate change. These are defining global challenges requiring effective and coordinated responses through international cooperation and sustained social dialogue, to develop a human-centered approach which puts the needs, aspirations and rights of all people at the heart of economic, social and environmental policies.

The evidence from the work of our respective organizations has demonstrated that well-managed, digital transformations and transitions to environmentally and socially sustainable economies can become a strong driver of job creation, job upgrading, social justice and inclusion. Economies must be robust and productive to meet the needs of the world’s growing population. Societies must be inclusive, providing opportunities for decent work for all and must generate a fairer and more equitable distribution of income from work, reducing absolute poverty and inequalities.

Enhanced social spending can be a key policy lever for addressing emerging challenges from demographic shifts, technological developments, and climate change. Investment in education, health and social protection plays an essential role in generating equal opportunity, supporting social and political stability, addressing inequalities of income, protecting vulnerable groups and stabilizing economies in the face of shocks.

Adapting, reinforcing and expanding adequate, efficient, and fiscally sustainable social protection systems and investing in education, skills upgrading and health can help reduce inequality in income and opportunities, including in its gender dimension, address the persistence of poverty across generations, enhance social mobility, and ultimately promote sustained inclusive growth. Sound and effective redistributive fiscal policies adapted to national contexts are therefore needed to help governments address high levels of inequality. This requires fostering the adequacy, efficiency and equity, including risk sharing and solidarity, of social spending.

In this regard, and in light of the respective mandates of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we believe that stronger cooperation and coordination among the international organizations constitutes an opportunity to increase the efficiency and impact in delivering the outcomes identified by our stakeholders and to foster the realization of the 2030 sustainable development goals, as agreed at the G7 Leaders Summit in Biarritz in August 2019.

In line with the G7 Social members’ call for a multilateral dialogue and coordination for the reduction of inequalities, we will strengthen our joint efforts at the institutional and country level, within our respective mandates, to identify areas for collaboration to reduce inequalities and to promote access to education, health and social protection.