"Safety Olympics" opens in Seoul

The World Congress on Safety and Health opend on 29 June in Seoul.

The largest global gathering of safety and health specialists opened in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

SEOUL - The XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health was officially opened on 29 June by the President of the Korean Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), Mr. Min-ki Noh, in a ceremony that commenced with a colourful introduction to Korean culture and art.

In the presence of Korean Prime Minister Seung-soo Han, speeches were given by the President of the ISSA, Mrs. Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo and the Executive Director of the Social Protection Sector of ILO Mr. Assane Diop.

"A basic human principle, and the key objective of social security, is the preservation of the health of mankind," the ISSA President underlined.

"For the International Social Security Association, any forward-looking social policy must include at its core the prevention of risks. One cannot invest and nurture the development of human capital without focusing on prevention as a means towards an end, which is a healthier working population able to participate fully in their society and, with dignity, enjoy the fruits of their labour."

The ceremony took place after the Safety and Health Summit, which gathered 45 key policy-makers, including Ministers, CEOs of major multinationals, social security leaders and safety and health experts. The Summit concluded with an historic Declaration that establishes a global framework to promote accident-free and safe workplaces.

The opening also saw the launch of the International Film and Multimedia Festival, which is co-organized by the ISSA International Prevention Sections on Electricity and Information. Over 100 films and dozens of multimedia presentations related to safety and health at work will be projected and international juries will present awards.

Over 4,300 people from 120 countries are attending the event, making it the largest such gathering since the first World Congress in 1955. The event has been referred to as the "Safety Olympics" because of its international diversity and scale.

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