G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting - Melbourne

ILO Director-General welcomes G20's ambitious commitments to promote decent jobs

Guy Ryder has welcomed commitments made by the G20 Ministers to tackle the global jobs crisis with a package of measures to support the creation of decent jobs that can lift working families out of poverty and drive sustainable development.

Press release | 11 September 2014
G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting held in Melbourne - 10-11 September 2014 © G20 Australia
MELBOURNE – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has welcomed commitments made by the G20 Ministers to tackle the global jobs crisis, at the close of the Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting, (LEMM), in Melbourne, Australia.

“The G20 Ministers’ have made ambitious but essential pledges to work to create more and better jobs, which can drive economic recovery and stave off the risk of a slide into a slow growth trap”, Mr Ryder said.

“Employment and Labour Ministers must now work closely with Finance Ministers and other parts of governments to make sure that measures to improve job opportunities and wages are supported by macroeconomic and financial policies as well”.

In their closing Declaration the Ministers said there was a need to generate hundreds of millions of decent jobs that can lift working families out of poverty and drive sustainable development. “Promoting and creating quality jobs, and tackling the economic and social consequences of unemployment, underemployment, inequality and social exclusion, are priorities for all our economies,” the Declaration states.

“Reducing youth unemployment, stimulating demand, and raising female participation and employment, in particular command a high priority”, it says.

The Declaration’s annexes outline more than 50 policy commitments focused on creating more and better jobs, including measures to promote youth employment, address informality and underemployment, create safer workplaces and support gender equality.

“A welcome feature of the G20’s conclusions was the emphasis placed on reducing informality and underemployment, and an acknowledgement that this is vital for poverty reduction and sustainable development,” Mr Ryder said. “These problems are particular challenges in emerging G20 economies.” He noted that the Declaration also acknowledges the importance of occupational safety and health, both to protect workers and to reduce costs to economies of work-related injuries. He added, “I am delighted that the ILO has been asked to take a key role in coordinating technical co-operation on improving workplace safety”.

“Ministers also recognized the importance of gender equality and boosting women’s participation in the world of work. There was also genuine and universal concern about the youth employment crisis and the difficulties young women and men have in finding a decent job that reflects their capabilities and aspirations,” Mr Ryder added.

During the meeting the Director-General made a presentation to the Ministers on “G20 labour markets: outlook, key challenges and policy responses”. The presentation was based on a report of the same name, prepared for the LEMM by the ILO, working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank Group (WBG).

The Director-General also held talks with the G20’s business and labour engagement groups, the B20 and the L20. They welcomed the Ministers’ appreciation of the role of the B20 and L20 and “the importance of social dialogue in delivering stronger labour market outcomes”.

The ILO presented a number of reports on employment issues that were requested by this year’s President, Australia, to inform the Ministerial discussions. “Achieving stronger growth by promoting a more gender-balanced economy” was jointly written by the ILO, OECD, WBG and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Two further reports were prepared by the ILO; “Informality and the quality of employment in G20 countries” and “Creating Safe and Healthy Workplaces for All”.

The LEMM has been taking place in Melbourne, Australia, from 9-11 September 2014. The meeting was chaired by the Australian Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz.

For more information please contact:

Sophy Fisher
Senior Communications Officer
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Tel.: +66 (0) 8989 50912