Remarks by ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo to the G20 Employment Working Group (EWG) handover meeting

Statement | 07 November 2023
Let me first of all welcome you to the ILO premises.

Thank you, Honourable Secretary, Ms Arti Ahuja, and past Co-Chair Mr Muhammad Arif Hidayat, for your remarks.

For the ILO, as I’m sure our colleagues at the OECD would confirm, it has been a privilege to contribute to your work.

It has been particularly important at a time when crises, rising inequality and persistent poverty in many of our countries have been threatening the prospects for peace and social justice.

These are times that require us to reinforce our commitment to promoting decent work and - you will not be surprised to hear it from me - our commitment to advancing social justice.

We were very pleased to see these commitments to decent work and social justice reflected in the LEMM statements adopted in Indore last July.

India has been the Chair of the Employment Working Group this year – and I don’t want to single anyone out, but Secretary Arti Ahuja and her team have done an exceptional job.

Consequently, the Ministers delivered commitments to concrete actions that will address global skills gaps. They agreed to policy priorities on adequate and sustainable social protection and decent work for gig and platform workers. And they addressed the need for sustainable social financing to ensure adequate social protection for all. Issues like portability of social security, and skills mapping, will equally require significant follow-up.

So there is a lot to follow up upon!  

I wanted to reiterate our predisposition to go on working with you and with Brazil to follow up on these issues.  In fact I am meeting with my senior management about what role the ILO will play in carrying forward these complex subjects, as it is so important that we continue working on them.

Finally, I want to thank you all for your support for the UN’s Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions. As a result of your efforts, the Global Accelerator was mentioned in the Leaders’ Declaration for the first time, and we are very grateful for your clear leadership and diplomacy to have it taken up in our difficult global environment.

Thank you once again.