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Booster for recovery of economy (international forum)
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17:01, April 02, 2009

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The three-day G8 Labor and Social Policy Ministers' Meeting wrapped up in Rome, Italy on March 31. The meeting, centered on the theme of "putting people first," emphasized that implementing active social welfare policies is an important part of coping with the current international financial crisis as well as a booster for the recovery of the economy. All the countries reached a consensus to work together to help restore confidence in order to relieve the negative impacts of the international financial crisis on the development of society and people's lives.

The meeting concluded with a common action program with three points: first, countries should adopt concrete measures such as skills education for promoting employment, in order to enhance the employability of laborers and provide revenue assurance to the unemployed; second, social protection systems should be optimized and improved to create a "virtuous cycle in confidence building" among laborers, so as to form a motivating power for the promotion of employment and economic recovery; third, countries and the international community should regard sustained social stability as a factor to evaluate economic stability and attach importance to the development of the people and society.

It is predicted that due to the financial crisis, the unemployment rate of all large industrialized countries and member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will reach double digits by the end of 2010. A report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO) also warned that the employment issue worldwide will deteriorate in 2009.

Relevant officials said that all laborers, especially youths, women, the elderly and migrant workers, are paying the price for the financial crisis caused by western powers, which will directly affect the social development of all countries and the process of economic recovery in the future.

Therefore, first focusing on specific issues, all countries participating in the conference raised two new concepts—"green jobs" and "white jobs"— in the areas of employment and social support.

The former refers to industries that are adaptable to emerging employment markets and aimed at enhancing laborers' employability, such as sectors related to environmental protection and technical innovation. The latter refers to industries that are related to social support, including education, health and social assistance.

All countries participating in the meeting agreed to invest more into these two aspects in order to ease pressures on employment and social support arising from the crisis.

Methods to strengthen cooperation between developed countries and developing countries in areas of social welfare were among the focus of this meeting. Representatives from China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Egypt, as well as from organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the OECD and the ILO, participated in the meeting. Reporters learned that the G8 Summit 2009 to be held in Italy in July will continue to discuss international cooperation regarding issues of unemployment and social stability.

By People's Daily Online


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