It is very pleasing to announce that the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting is now able to release a bold and ambitious but nevertheless an achievable declaration with unanimous support.
After two days of discussions and negotiations, we have devised a comprehensive, coordinated action plan for the future.
We have remained true to our determination, ultimately to foster policies that do make a practical difference to people’s lives.
And we have directly addressed the global imperatives of generating more and better jobs, boosting participation and stopping unemployment from becoming entrenched.
Let me spend a moment summarising the key points of the Declaration:
- Strengthening our employment plans
- Preventing structural unemployment
- Creating better jobs
- Addressing informality and underemployment
- Promoting safer workplaces
- Boosting participation in the workforce, especially among youth and women.
A great deal of thoughtful work, over quite a long period, went into this Declaration, and I’d like to warmly thank and congratulate every single person who worked on it and made such a constructive contribution.
In this group, I certainly include the international organisations, and the Engagement Group representatives, who shared their perspectives with ministers yesterday morning.
As you might know, the G20 is not a mere event, or occasion, it’s actually a process.
Following on from what was achieved in St Petersburg, under the previous presidency last year, Australia has hosted a series of discussions and meetings throughout 2014.
These have included four meetings of the G20 Taskforce on Employment—a forum of officials that has done an enormous amount of valuable groundwork for this week’s Ministerial in Melbourne.
Today’s Declaration complements the conclusions reached by the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held in Sydney in February.
Most important of all, the declaration we’re releasing will serve as a vital element of, and a stimulus to, the deliberations that will occur of the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane in November.
Again, I thank you all for your energy, insights and ideas and I commend this declaration to all those looking for a practical common-sense plan to foster employment globally.
I trust that your time in Melbourne was stimulating and enjoyable, and I look forward to the G20’s work in 2014 reaching fruition in Brisbane, and then being taken up with renewed vigour by our friends in Turkey. To officially close our event today I call on the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, and Turkey of course will be taking the presidency of the G20 next year.