IOE at Labor Ministerial: Implement G20 Commitments

L-R: U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Ronnie Goldberg (USCIB) in Beijing
L-R: U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Ronnie Goldberg (USCIB) in Beijing

IOE Vice President Mthunzi Mdwaba stressed the need for programs and reforms to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation at the G20 Labor Ministerial in Beijing. In He made several statements in support of implementation of G20 commitments.

“Promoting and enabling entrepreneurship and innovation will contribute to more dynamic labor markets, which concomitantly will lead to the generation of more jobs and which will of course enable people to reach their full potential by opening their own businesses, instead of just being employed,” he said. “We would like to urge for a special focus to be given to youth entrepreneurship. Young entrepreneurs not only bring vibrancy and innovation to world economies, they also typically hire other youth. This is particularly important in view of the youth unemployment challenge we all want to tackle.”

Ronnie Goldberg, USCIB senior counsel, attended the ministerial in her capacity as chair of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD Employment Labor and Social Affairs Committee. At the ministerial Goldberg pressed for continued joint leadership by BIAC and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) in ongoing negotiations with the Labor-20.

Mdwaba applauded the G20 entrepreneurship initiative that has been adopted and emphasized the need for an enabling environment for business, to raise the status of apprenticeships and to reduce in non-wage labor costs as measures to ensure the G20 employment process is a success.

IOE Meets with G20 Labor Ministers

The International Organization of Employers (IOE) jointly with the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, Deloitte, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD hosted an informal gathering with G20 governments, employers and trade unions in Beijing as part of the G20 process.

IOE-BIAC survey to monitor implementation of G20 commitments

The event provided the opportunity to highlight the outcomes of the IOE-BIAC’s efforts to monitor implementation of G20 commitments. The results are mixed, showing that on one hand most governments followed up on the Melbourne and Ankara G20 Labor Ministers’ Declarations and have developed initiatives to implement the commitments, but on the other hand, in areas such as reduction of non-wage labor costs, the situation has worsened in a number of countries.

The level of ownership of the national employment plans among employers’ organisations was also put into question. The majority of employers’ federations in G20 countries show little confidence in the impact of the G20 process on producing major policy changes at the national level. All in all, while follow-up at the national level to G20 commitments is seen to be taking place, it is perceived as being insufficient in addressing the main employment challenges at hand.

Joint IOE-BIAC/ITUC-TUAC statement on “innovation, growth, jobs and decent work”

The informal gathering also served as a platform to launch the IOE-BIAC/ITUC-TUAC joint statement to the G20 Labor Ministerial. The statement refers to the joint B20-L20 messages of 2015 because of the “failure of many G20 economies to recover from recession and the elusive nature of global growth”.

The joint statement provides recommendations in six main areas:

  1. develop a policy framework for better technology diffusion
  2. determinedly tackle youth unemployment
  3. pursue macro-economic policies that promote employment
  4. make a reality of the 2014 Brisbane target of reducing by 25 percent the gender gap in employment by 2025
  5. promote formality and implement the recommendation on informality adopted by the 2015 International Labor Conference
  6. business and labor play a key role in the shaping of economic and social policy

Staff Contact:   Ronnie Goldberg

Senior Counsel
Tel: 212.703.5057

Ronnie Goldberg advises USCIB’s president and CEO on strategic matters and represents American business at several high-level forums. She currently serves as the U.S. employer representative on the International Labor Organization’s Governing Body, and chairs the BIAC Employment, Labor, and Social Affairs (ELSA) Committee.
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