Q4/2018 - G20 Summit

Buenos Aires, 30 November - 1 December 2018

The G20 Summit in Buenos Aires at the end of November 2018 was overshadowed by the severe international crises in Syria and the Ukraine and by the Chinese-American trade war. Nevertheless, the Summit produced a closing document supported by all the 20 governments, which confirmed the commitment to a "rules-based international order". Issues like cyber security or digital economy thus were attached only minor importance at the actual summit discussions. Regardless of this, the 31-items closing document refers to the crucial role of digitalisation and cyber security for economic growth and the future of work in several paragraphs. But the statements are of a rather general nature. No new agreements going beyond the documents of the G20 Summit in Hamburg in November 2017 were made.

The closing document "G20 Leaders Declaration: Building Consensus for a Fair and Sustainable Development" points out the crucial importance of the new IT technologies, which are said to present enormous challenges for governments, the economy and every individual alike. The G20 agreed that to face these challenges innovative national politics and enhanced international cooperation were required.

  1. The "Policy Options for the Future of Work" agreed by the Sherpas were confirmed by the heads of state and government. The paragraph on digitalisation points out the fundamental impacts on the future of work and the need to adapt national education policies to the new challenges. Paragraph 7 states: " We remain committed to building an inclusive, fair and sustainable Future of Work by promoting decent work, vocational training and skills development, including reskilling workers and improving labour conditions in all forms of employment, recognizing the importance of social dialogue in this area, including work delivered through digital platforms, with a focus on promoting labour formalization and making social protection systems strong and portable, subject to national law and circumstances."
  2. It is further requested that digitalisation must not only be to the benefit of large digital platforms. Instead, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises must be supported and fostered. The digital divide, and in particular the "digital gender gap" must be overcome. Consumer right in the digital sphere must be secured. Governments must offer public services in digital format (digital government) and the security of new IT systems must be guaranteed. This must be observed in particular with regard to all the problems emerging with the evolution of artificial intelligence.

In 2019, Japan will take over the G20 chairmanship. Japan has already announced that it plans to further enhance the "G20 Roadmap for Digitalization" decided in 2016 in Hangzhou under Chinese chairmanship. In 2020, the G20 chairmanship will pass on to Saudi Arabia.

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