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G20 Japan 2019

ILO welcomes G20 commitment to inclusion and equality

G20 leaders, meeting in Osaka, issued a communique stressing the importance of ensuring that ageing societies are active, and supporting gender equality and women's economic empowerment.

News | 29 June 2019
© G20
OSAKA (ILO News) – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has welcomed the commitment made by the G20 Leaders in Tokyo to work towards an inclusive society that boosts the participation of women, youth and people with disabilities.

The Leaders agreed to ask their labour ministers to foster adequate policy responses to the challenges to decent work and social protection created by new forms of work, particularly those driven by technological innovation. The labour ministers are due to meet in Matsuyama, Japan, in September.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said that, “the G20’s focus on achieving labour market inclusion during this time of rapid change within the world of work is encouraging, and sets the right course for policies that support equitable, sustainable policies growth and decent work.” He said that the Leaders’ Communiqué, “complements the Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work that was adopted by the ILO’s member States only a few days ago.”

While new forms of work create opportunities for job creation, the Leaders asked their Ministers to exchange good practices that will help generate policy options that support both decent work and social protection. The Communiqué also restated the Leaders’ commitment to promoting decent work and eradicating child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery, including in global supply chains.

The Communiqué stressed that gender equality and women’s economic empowerment are key drivers of sustainable and inclusive growth. The Leaders noted the report of the ILO and OECD, Women at Work in G20 Countries, on progress made in reaching the Brisbane Goal to reduce the gender labour force participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025, and committed to accelerating their efforts and to evaluating progress on the basis of the annual ILO/OECD report.

The Leaders highlighted the burden of unpaid care work, borne disproportionately by women, and condemned violence, abuse and harassment against women at work.

Looking at policies to end the gender pay gap caused by occupational segregation, the Leaders reiterated the importance of providing girls and women with improved access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and of taking steps to close the digital gender divide.

They highlighted the crucial role of the private sector in closing the gender pay gap, by promoting women’s access to managerial and decision-making positions, and fostering women business leaders and entrepreneurship.“

“Addressing the unequal distribution of unpaid care work between men and women underscores the G20 Leaders’ firm commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment,” Ryder said, adding that, “the Communiqué, which resulted from difficult and long negotiations, shows that consensus on many topics is still possible within the multilateral system.”

The ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, 2019, was adopted by the International Labour Conference, the annual meeting of the ILO’s membership, to mark the 100th year since the ILO was founded. The Declaration’s core proposition, of a human-centred agenda for the future of work, provides a basis for policies that allow people to benefit from changes affecting the world of work as a result of climate change, demographic shifts, migration, technology, and other factors.

Ryder, who was in Japan for the G20 Summit, also welcomed the Leaders’ commitment to creating a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution, and fostering the development of an inclusive and sustainable world, as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The G20 Communique also highlights the potential for job creation created by improved efficiency in resource use, and the development of the circular economy and the e-waste industry.

Japan currently holds the rotating Presidency of the G20, and hosted the Summit in Osaka, Japan from 28 to 29 June. Japan will host the next meeting of G20 Labour and Employment Ministers in Matsuyama, Japan on 1-2 September 2019. The next Leaders’ Summit will take place in Saudi Arabia in November 2020.