Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah believes that current and future challenges can only be overcome through collaborations, so she invited other G20 ministers to cooperate in restoring global employment from impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fauziyah is aware that challenges of the labor sector are, and will be, quite tough, as the pandemic has hindered growth of the economy and employment sectors.

Industrial, trade, and service activities have declined to their lowest point due to the outbreak.

Moreover, when the number of positive cases of COVID-19 had decreased and economic activity had begun to revive, the world experienced a new crisis -- the Russian-Ukrainian conflict -- that had affected global gas and fuel supply.

In addition, the impact of climate change on the world's food supply is estimated to cause a new crisis.

Every disruption to the world's economy will also influence the employment sector.

While delivering her remarks at the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers Networking Dinner with Social Partners in Badung District, Bali Province, on Tuesday (September 13, 2022), the minister quoted a Balinese proverb, “Raket sekadi sampat lidi,” which literally meant "stick together like a hard broom."

The words embody a deep meaning about the power of unity.

Hard brooms are still widely used by Indonesian people to clean their yards. It is made from the primary veins of the leaves of the coconut palm frond.

However, the primary veins of the leaves can be used for sweeping only if several of them are tied together.

The leaf veins need to be bound together into a broom for being used to conduct house chores, and this seemed to be the moral value that Fauziyah was keen to emphasize by citing the proverb, as only by working hand-in-hand with one another can various labor problems be solved, including those related to unemployment, workers' social security, as well as employee welfare.

Hence, she was pleased to see the realization of the value of unity at the 2022 G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial Meeting (LEMM).

Organized under the Sherpa Track, LEMM was a ministerial-level meeting that was held to follow up on the results of the discussion at the Employment Working Group (EWG) meetings -- which had been held six times -- on sustainable job creation, work safety and health, as well as building an inclusive labor market.

Related news: G20 EWG: Indonesia pushes for adaptive workers' protection
Related news: Need to ensure workers’ rights to make workplaces inclusive: VP

Recover together

The Indonesian government lauded the presence of the manpower ministers of G20 members in G20 LEMM, as it not only reflected their support to Indonesia’s 2022 G20 Presidency but also showcased the commitment of all G20 countries to jointly solve global challenges in the employment sector.

Witnessing the enthusiasm of the meeting's participants, the Indonesian minister was highly optimistic that she and her counterparts would do their best to jointly improve global employment conditions.

Furthermore, Indonesia lauded the delegates for successfully drawing an agreement on various matters discussed at the meeting, such as the development of human resource capacity through Community-Based Vocational Training (CBVT) as well as strengthening the inclusive labor market to accommodate persons with disabilities.

In addition, other matters included updating the G20 skills strategy; bolstering inclusive and sustainable employment opportunities through the development of and support for entrepreneurship and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) programs; as well as granting adaptive labor protection for all workers in response to changes in the world of work.

Fauziyah also welcomed the Joint statements of Labor 20 (L20) and Business 20 (B20) that embodied the spirit of the theme of Indonesia’s 2022 G20 Presidency: "Recover Together, Recover Stronger."

B20 is G20's Sherpa Track official dialogue forum with the global business community. It provides practical policy recommendations from a business viewpoint to the G20.

Meanwhile, L20 -- also included in the Sherpa Track -- provides analyses and policy recommendations aimed at improving labor-related issues.

The joint statement is expected to have a good impact nationally and globally to address challenges of the employment sector in the midst of an uncertain situation due to the pandemic and geopolitical tensions.

Chairperson of the 2022 G20 B20 Shinta Kamdani stated that B20 is committed to supporting the success of the 2022 G20 by contributing to the improvement of global employment conditions through the joint statement to create inclusive, innovative, and collaborative economic growth.

Hence, B20 along with L20 has identified several issues that should be addressed through three priority agendas.

The agendas comprise encouraging productive, modern, and decent working opportunities; supporting sustainable companies to create decent wage conditions and establish non-discriminatory company policies; as well as strengthening the implementation of gender equality in corporations.

The two G20 forums had also collaborated closely to overcome global and geopolitical challenges by preparing recommendations to encourage reforms for better labor conditions, especially to reduce gaps in employment opportunities and conditions between developed and developing countries.

Facilitating disabled persons

Indonesia’s 2022 G20 Presidency officially ended the 6th G20 EWG Meeting as well as the G20 LEMM that was held back-to-back on September 12-13 and September 14, respectively.

Secretary General of the Manpower Ministry Anwar Sanusi said after closing the 6th G20 EWG Meeting Badung District, Bali Province, on Tuesday, that participants of the meeting had agreed on an assessment instrument to measure the impacts of the government’s policies on facilitating persons with disabilities to get decent work.

One of the indicators of the assessment instrument is the number of disabled workers working in the private and public sectors, he noted.

In Indonesia, the attempts to increase job opportunities for disabled people have been encouraged through the issuance of Law Number 8 of 2016 regarding Persons with Disabilities.

The regulation requires the public and private sector to employ persons with disabilities to constitute two and one percent respectively out of their total workforce.

The EWG meeting was attended by senior officials from 20 G20 members, four G20 permanent observer countries, and two international organizations.

Meanwhile, the G20 LEMM was attended by labor ministers from 20 G20 members, four G20 permanent observer countries, and five countries serving as chairs of their respective regional forums; the leaders of seven international organizations; as well as the heads of five G20 engagement groups.

Related news: G20 LEMM yields five agreements
Related news: G20 concurs on accelerating development of inclusive labor market

Translator: Erafzon Saptiyulda, Uyu Liman
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2022