2nd EWG Meeting concludes in Guwahati

Apr 06: The 2nd Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency concluded today at Guwahati, Assam.  Ms Arti Ahuja, Secretary, Labour & Employment and G20 EWG Chair steered the discussions ensuring consensus is developed on the key elements of the Ministerial Declaration and Outcome Documents covering the three priority areas of the EWG under the Indian Presidency. This meeting was a crucial step towards building consensus on the outcomes of the priority areas for EWG 2023 -i). Addressing Global Skill Gaps ii). Gig and Platform Economy, and Social Protection iii). Sustainable Financing of Social Security.

74+ Delegates from over 19 G20 member countries, 7 guest countries and 5 International Organisations including International Labour Organisation(ILO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and International Social Security Association (ISSA), World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) were present at the meetings that concluded today.

On Day 1, the meeting began with the inaugural address by the Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment and  Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Rameshwar Teli followed by an address by the Minister of Environment & Forest, Act East Policy Affairs, and Welfare of Minorities, Assam Government Shri Chandra Mohan Patowary. The compilation of essays by students on labour issues as a part of Jan Bhagidari initiatives was unveiled on the occasion.

The first day of the meeting comprised knowledge-sharing sessions by other working groups which have intersecting priority areas with the EWG.  Presentations were made by the Sustainable Finance Working Group, Digital Economy Working Group, Education Working Group, G20 Entrepreneurship Research Centre and the L20, and B20 Chairs. The culture programme was organised in the evening along with dinner at the banks of Brahmaputra at the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre which included Assamese Dances (Bihu), flute music renditions and folk songs which were very well received by the international audience.

On Day 2 of the 2nd EWG meeting, the discussions began on the Draft Ministerial Declaration. Member countries deliberated on the outcomes of the key priority areas of the EWG by bringing in all perspectives and distilling them further towards the formulation of the declaration &outcome document with constructive comments. Short yoga breaks were also organised for these sessions.

The second day also included a pleasant musical evening with a live band. The delegates enthusiastically joined in by singing along to the foot-tapping music.

On Day 3, the discussions on the Draft Ministerial Communique were held on the remaining document. Besides the Draft Ministerial Declaration, the Draft Outcome Document on “Gig and Platform Economy and Social Protection”, was taken up for discussion.  The comments and suggestions of the countries were considered and discussed in detail with all the G20 members.

The three-day meeting of G20 EWG comprised of Jan Bhagidari activities like cycle rallies, cleanliness drives, mock G20s at schools, tree plantations, seminars and lectures organised by the Assam state government to involve citizens from all walks of life, including students, youth, women, private sector, academia and civil society.

The G20 delegates visited the stalls showcasing the Millets and the cultural heritage of Assam.

Shri Rupesh Kumar Thakur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment briefed the press on the deliberations of the three-day meeting in Guwahati.

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