Roundtable on Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions held in Delhi

ILO, UNICEF and UNRCO India come together to discuss the potential for creating jobs in the green, digital and care economies

Press release | New Delhi, India | 04 May 2023

The International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) hosted a roundtable on the “Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions: Creating Opportunities in the green, digital and care economies for India’s future” at UN House in Delhi on 4 May 2023.

The Global Accelerator was launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in September 2021 with the ambition of a COVID-19 recovery that brings together Member States, international financial institutions, social partners, civil society and the private sector to help create 400 million decent jobs, including in the green, digital and care economies, and to extend social protection coverage to the 4 billion people currently excluded.
“India has a long tradition of delivering social protection schemes at scale, including the Targeted Public Distribution System, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, and many more. India, with its wealth of social protection best practices, and now as president of the G20, has a unique opportunity to bring momentum, legitimacy, and scale to the Global Accelerator,” said Mr Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, in his opening statement.

The roundtable’s goal was to present opportunities for India to benefit from and contribute to the Global Accelerator, as well as the broader social protection space in the country. The audience consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Youth Affairs and NITI Aayog. Other participants included employers’ and workers’ organizations, academia, and senior representatives from UN Agencies.

The ILO stressed that India faces a unique moment in history, with its large working-age population and low dependency ratio creating the potential for a demographic dividend. At the same time, creating more and better jobs for youth and women, especially in the green, digital, and care economies, and closing skill gaps through skilling and upskilling will be critical for India’s workforce to move into higher value-added occupations for a maximum impact on India’s sustainable development trajectory.
Focusing on how lack of social protection exposes children to a higher risk of poverty than adults, UNICEF highlighted barriers in critical services like education, health, and nutrition which need to be rapidly closed to achieve the shock-responsive and gender transformative social protection systems envisioned by the Global Accelerator.

The tripartite constituents, as well as representatives from academia and financial institutions, agreed that a whole-of-society approach will be necessary to ensure social protection and just transition, with education and skills development being the critical levers to make these ambitions a reality.