Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

The two-day G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting 2023 concluded in Indore successfully with the unanimous adoption of three G20 Outcome Documents which are G20 Policy Priorities on Strategies to Address Skill Gaps Globally, G20 Policy Priorities on Adequate and Sustainable Social Protection and Decent Work for Gig and Platform Workers and G20 Policy Options for Sustainable Financing of Social Protection. These documents will be submitted to the Leaders for their consideration to be annexed to the G20 New Delhi Leader’s Declaration 2023.  The Ministers also adopted the Outcome Document and the Chair’s Summary.

Addressing a Press Conference Union Minister for Labour and Employment and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav said the Labour & Employment Ministers’ meeting took a historical step closer to strengthening global amity. He said in a landmark initiative, G20 Countries rallied behind Indian leadership for achieving consensus on all issues except just one paragraph on the geopolitical issues, for which a Chair’s Summary was issued. Shri Yadav said under India’s Presidency, the G20 nations have agreed to include the reference to ‘respect for multilateralism’, ‘respect for purposes and principles of the UN Charter’, as well as the phrase by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  ‘Today’s era must not be of war’. He said this is a testament to the commitment of all G20 countries to come together to ensure decent work and labour welfare for all workers.

There was participation from 176 plus Delegates, including 26 Ministers from G20 Member and Guest countries. There was participation from 15 Heads and Representatives of International Organizations, namely OECD, ISSA, ILO, and World Bank.

Four  Employment Working Group (EWG) meetings, chaired by Ms. Arti Ahuja, Secretary, MoL&E, have been held successfully in Jodhpur, Guwahati, Geneva, and Indore. The Indore meeting held over the past two days was the fourth and final EWG meeting. Apart from that, numerous bilateral meetings have been held between India and other G20 countries. The EWG deliberated and negotiated on three priority areas selected by the Indian Presidency, namely: Addressing global skill gaps; Gig and platform economy and social protection; and Sustainable financing of social protection. The work of the EWG was cemented by the Labour & Employment Ministers by holding deliberations and adopting the outcome documents related to these priority areas.

The State Government organized a delightful cultural evening showcasing Madhya Pradesh’s rich traditional performing arts for the Ministers and delegates, at the Welcome Dinner at the Sheraton Grand Palace, Indore on 20th July 2023.  The L20 and B20 submitted a joint statement on their work and ideas to advance labour welfare, while the IOE addressed the August assembly.

Today the meeting of the LEM commenced with a video message delivered by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, where he shared his inspiring vision for the ever-evolving world of work.  The PM stressed that “ mobile workforce is going to be a  reality in the future. Therefore, it is now time to globalize the development and sharing of skills in the true sense.  The G20 must play a leading role in this.”

The G20 took note of the overwhelming success story of India in accelerating the transition from informality to formality and enhancing social protection as India’s recent key initiatives in legal reforms, systemic transformation, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and social protection were highlighted.

International Organizations and also the International Knowledge Partners for India’s G20 Presidency- the ILO, OECD, ISSA, and World Bank — shared crucial insights on the future of work. An update was given on the G20 countries’ progress towards  Brisbane and Antalya goals by Deputy Secretary General, OECD, and Director General, ILO.

Social partners represented by G20 engagement groups, namely Business 20, Labour 20, Startup 20, and Think 20 called for greater coordination and synergies between all stakeholders to address global labour challenges.

Discussions and rich exchange of diverse perspectives took place among G20 Member and Guest countries on the increasing criticality of the priority areas and the related Outcome Documents.

The LEM meeting and EWG’s journey under India’s Presidency concluded with the adoption of the Chair’s Summary and Outcome Documents. Adoption and implementation of these outcomes will enable people,  especially India’s youth to avail gainful employment across the world leading to sustainable, resilient, and inclusive global economic development. These outcomes reflect and have the potential to fulfill the aspirations of millions in the G20 countries and beyond.

The ‘G20 Policy Priorities on Strategies to Address Skill Gaps Globally’ were adopted by the Ministers. The G20 countries have united under India’s Leadership as they have committed to addressing skill gaps and enhancing global employment. The long-awaited International referencing framework of occupations by skills and occupations requirements will soon be a reality.

The agreement to work towards the adoption of common language and mapping by the ILO and OECD will boost the accurate mapping of global skill gaps and surpluses. This is Indian Presidency’s contribution towards a global good.  People will benefit across the world as this breakthrough will lead to accurate skill gap mapping, benchmarking, optimal development, and sharing of skills.

This pioneering step under the Indian G20 Presidency will usher in an era of unprecedented global employment opportunities for more than two-thirds population of the world through enhanced cross-country comparability and mutual recognition of skills.

The EWG adopted ‘G20 Policy Priorities on Adequate and Sustainable Social Protection and Decent Work for Gig and Platform Workers’. In a significant breakthrough for the gig and platform economy, the Indian Presidency forged consensus in the G20 for providing social protection to the gig and platform workers on priority, irrespective of their classification.

India championed the cause of these workers by bringing the G20 together to agree to work towards sharing of responsibility among governments, employers, and workers for providing adequate and sustainable social protection for these workers.

The G20 broke new ground and barriers when countries agreed to work towards providing social protection across borders for online platform workers through bilateral or multilateral agreements. The outcomes will be game-changing for the Gig and platform workers by helping workers tide over stresses across the life cycle.

Ministers adopted ‘G20 Policy Options for Sustainable Financing of Social Protection’. G20 Labour & Employment Ministers led by the Indian Presidency leave a lasting Legacy as they adopt a menu of global solutions for sustainable financing of social protection”.

It includes strengthening contributory and non-contributory mechanisms to ensure sustainable financing of adequate social protection for all. It will enable people globally to avail gainful employment with adequate social protection for all and will lead to resilient and inclusive economic development.

The Employment Working Group and Labour and Employment Ministerial Meetings scripted history by introducing of refreshing Yoga stretch breaks during the meetings by the Indian Presidency. These breaks were well-received by all Ministers and delegates.

An excursion has been planned to showcase the rich culinary heritage of Indore, at the historic Chhappan Dukaan planned for delegates after the meeting.

A Heritage walk and cycle ride has been organized around the grand historic city centre of Indore. It will start from Boliya Sarkar Chhatri and end at Rajwada Palace. The EWG delegates were treated to a magnificent light and sound show at Mandav Fort on 19th July 2023.

Source – Indian G20 Presidency

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