G20 Development Ministers Meeting

G20 can help accelerate a human-centred recovery that is inclusive, sustainable, resilient

Speaking to G20 Development Ministers, the ILO Director-General has welcomed the group’s support for increased international cooperation to distribute vaccines, provide financial support, strengthen social protection and counter the employment impact of the crisis, particularly in developing countries.

Statement | 29 June 2021
Thank you Chair for the opportunity to speak at this first, welcome Development Ministers’ meeting.

Defeating the pandemic and achieving recovery in developing countries are over-riding and interlinked imperatives for all of us.

They are needed out of solidarity.

And because only when those goals are achieved everywhere, can growth and development resume on a truly sustained basis, without fear of further COVID variants and waves, and consequential lockdowns.

Yet at present, developing countries’ lack of fiscal space to implement economic support measures - or even to buy vaccines - has gravely hindered their capacity for both recovery, and for fighting the pandemic.

And that has clearly had devastating implications for their workers.

Our data shows that in 2020, developing countries lost 10.6 per cent of working hours, the equivalent of 120 million full-time jobs, well above the global average of 8.8 per cent. The consequent fall in labour income of 12.0 per cent has been distributed unevenly between workers, leading to greater inequality.

The lack of access to adequate social protection has, for many, meant either working in dangerous conditions or destitution. 108 million people worldwide have been pushed back into working poverty.

The continued impact of the crisis in particular on young women and men stands to undermine growth and cause long-term structural damage, and increased informality in labour markets.

Although there are signs of recovery in some regions, without urgent and significant action, it will continue to be highly uneven.

Threatening to increase inequalities and jeopardize further the achievement of the SDGs.

Earlier this month, the International Labour Conference adopted a Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery. It highlights the policies that are needed to shape a global response to the pandemic that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

It calls for international cooperation and for urgent solidarity to roll out vaccines and to provide adequate financial support, including debt relief, to counter the employment impact of the crisis and to strengthen social protection.

The ILO, as part of the UN System, will contribute fully to international efforts to attain the 2030 Agenda and implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The ILO welcomes the Development Ministers’ communiqué and the G20’s resolve to act in solidarity with the rest of the world. Your actions can do much to accelerate a human-centered recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient and move us towards the realization of the SDGs.
Thank you.