Joint Ministerial Statement of the 5th APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting in Beijing
Editor's note: The following is the full text of the Joint Ministerial Statement issued by the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministerial Meeting, which held its fifth meeting in Beijing from Sept 16-17, 2010.
1. We, the Ministers responsible for human resources development from APEC economies and Heads of Delegations to the Meeting gathered in Beijing, China on Sept 16 and 17, 2010 for the 5th APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting under the theme "Developing Human Resources, Vigorously Promoting Employment and Realizing Inclusive Growth".
2. We are honored that His Excellency, President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China addressed the meeting and His Excellency, Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang spoke at the closing session. We support the President's view that inclusive growth is vitally important to address social dimensions of economic globalization and facilitate free trade and investment. We are inspired by the President's recommendations to promote inclusive growth through strengthened human resources development. We welcome the President's call for enhancing economic and technical cooperation in the area of human resources development among APEC economies and his announcement to launch an APEC Skills Development Promotion Project.
3. We recognize that trade and investment liberalization has led to significant economic growth, job creation and prosperity in APEC economies. We affirm our commitment to promote free and open trade and investment and to oppose all forms of protectionism. We further recognize that not all people in our society have gained opportunities and benefits from economic integration. The financial crisis has highlighted the need to address the social dimensions of globalization and regional integration.
4. We take note that the global economy is showing signs of recovery, thanks to the concerted efforts of the world. We are conscious that economic recovery is uneven and fragile and that across our economies many labor market concerns remain, such as jobless growth, persistent unemployment and underemployment, increasing numbers of discouraged workers and widespread informal employment. APEC economies also face long-term challenges such as aging population and increasing demand for a flexible and adaptable skilled work force. To achieve a sustained economic recovery and job-rich growth for the future, we must address both short-term and long-term labor market challenges.
5. We recall and are guided by the Leaders' declaration at the 17th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Singapore to "ensure that future economic growth is more inclusive to broaden access to opportunities created by growth and to spread the benefit of growth more widely". We are determined to carry out the Leaders' priorities to "put job creation at the heart of our economic strategy and enhance cooperation to address the social implications of globalization", and advance the APEC inclusive growth agenda by improved and innovative human resources development responses and policies.
6. We share the view that inclusive growth should be human-centered, allowing people to participate in, contribute to and benefit from economic growth. Rapid growth is unquestionably necessary, but for this growth to be sustainable, it should be broadly based across sectors and inclusive of our work force to create equal economic opportunities for individuals and businesses. Inclusive growth requires policies to create productive and decent work opportunities by high and sustainable economic growth and to strengthen social resilience through investment in education, training and social safety nets. We hold that inclusive growth will build greater consensus and public support for free and open trade and investment.
7. We recognize the significant role human resources development can and should play in achieving inclusive growth. As our overarching priorities, we will strive to create more and better jobs, improve social safety nets and enhance education and training to realize the objectives of development by the people, for the people and benefiting all people. We note the importance of involvement at domestic level of social partners through social dialogue in formulating those human resource development policies. We are aware that approaches to inclusive growth vary given the diversity among APEC economies and we are ready to share and learn from each other's experiences and implement policies that are best suited to our individual economic circumstances.
8. We renew our determination to build upon the Beijing Initiative on Human Capacity Building adopted at the High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building held in Beijing on May 15-16, 2001 as well as the accomplishments of the previous four APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meetings and the 4th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting in 2008.
9. We will move forward on the basis of the Global Jobs Pact adopted in Geneva at the 98th International Labour Conference in June 2009 and the Recommendations to G20 Heads of State, where relevant, adopted at the G20 Labour/Employment Ministers' Meeting held in Washington on April 20-21, 2010.
10. Therefore, subject to the laws, rules, regulations and policies of the Member Economies, we adopt the following recommendations to guide the development of HRD policies in our respective economies and to create a framework for regional exchanges and cooperation that will help to achieve inclusive growth. We also agree on the Action Plan attached to and made an integral part of this Statement as a course of action toward inclusive growth and instruct the Human Resources Development Working Group to effectively implement it.