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G20 Summit

ILO Director-General welcomes G20 leaders’ commitment to tackle inequality and jobs deficits

Speaking at the G20 Summit Guy Ryder has urged leaders to accelerate inclusive development to respond to growing employment and equality challenges.

News | 05 September 2016
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China
HANGZHOU, China (ILO News) – ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has welcomed the commitment taken by G20 leaders to tackle rising inequality and job deficits.

“Leaders from across the G20 countries spoke frankly about the economic and political risks caused by slow growth and weak employment prospects,” he said at the end of the two day-meeting in Hangzhou.

“The agreements reached at the Hangzhou Summit show signs of a shift towards a more balanced policy response to the challenges of slow growth, high unemployment and underemployment, inequality, and continuing rapid structural change,” he commented.

Addressing inclusiveness the Summit communiqué commits the G20 to “work to ensure that our economic growth serves the needs of everyone and benefits all countries and all people including in particular women, youth and disadvantaged groups, generating more quality jobs, addressing inequalities and eradicating poverty so that no one is left behind.”

It also emphasizes, that for sustainable development “strengthened labour market institutions and policies can support productivity and promote decent work, and therefore higher, sustainable wage growth, in particular for the low-income workers.”

Speaking at the Summit, Mr Ryder stressed that “the imperative of setting the interconnected global economy on a faster and more inclusive development trajectory is urgently and widely felt as are the dangerous consequences of failure”.

He pointed out that globally, unemployment and underemployment was high and rising, wage incomes stagnant and inequality widening. Youth unemployment was rising again and likely to reach 13.1 per cent in 2016, close to its historic peak; meaning 71 million jobless young people.

The importance of social dialogue in translating global agreements into sustainable solutions cannot be overemphasized."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
This was feeding back into weak consumer demand, weak investment, pressure on public finances and continued slow growth. This slow growth has created social tensions, not least amongst young women and men looking to get started in working life. It was driving people to leave their communities and seek work elsewhere, often faraway.

The ILO head also pointed out that frustrated expectations provided the tinder that inflammatory political forces can use to undermine support for open economies and societies that respect and value diversity.

He added that G20 leadership was vital in reversing these trends, and the G20’s support for the UN with the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was key.

Ryder also highlighted the Declaration of the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers which recommended policies on combatting working poverty, ending discrimination, narrowing gaps in working conditions and reducing inequalities, and enhancing minimum wage mechanisms and social protection that will be critical in shaping the future of work.

He also congratulated China on engaging business and labour in the preparations for the Summit.

“The importance of social dialogue in translating global agreements into sustainable solutions cannot be overemphasized,” he concluded.