The following is a speech by the Commissioner for Labour, Mrs Pamela Tan Kam Mi-wah, at the Closing Ceremony of the Safety and Health Expo 2003 and the 12th International Conference on Safety Communities today (March 20) (English only):
Dr Ng, Professor Svanstrom, Dr Grivna, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you here this afternoon. It is also my honour to have the opportunity to address such a distinguished audience in safety and health, as many of you have travelled a long way to take part in this conference.
The Labour Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is honoured to co-host the Safety and Health Expo 2003 and the 12th International Conference on Safety Communities with the Occupational Safety and Health Council.
During the last 2 days, we have had the opportunities to listen to many enlightening speeches by distinguished speakers. Mr Huang Yi, Spokesman of the Department of Policy and Legislation, State Administration of Work Safety, has provided us with a detailed account on how China, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, is working to accomplish the "three tasks", accelerate the building of "six supporting systems" and promoting the "five innovations". Dr Etienne Krug, Director of Injuries and Violence Prevention, World Health Organisation, has given us an enlightening account of the global campaign for violence prevention. Professor Lief Svanstrom, Chairman of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion at Karolinska Institutet, has also given an informative talk on the benefits of safety communities. There are many other very interesting presentations, too, which have enabled us to gain a better insight of the administration of safety and health in other parts of the world.
As this global forum on safety and health at work and safe communities now draws to a close, I wish to thank all our distinguished speakers, as well as delegates from our local community and other parts of the world, for your participation and valuable contribution. I also wish to extend my heart-felt appreciation to our co-organisers, the World Health Organisation and the Karolinska Institutet, for your strong support for this meaningful event.
Continuous improvement in safety and health at work and in everyday life is a challenge. Best practices keep improving and new technologies keep emerging. We must, therefore, keep abreast of the latest developments and innovative solutions to the problems at hand. This conference has provided an ideal forum where we can learn from each other.
I believe we all have benefited in one way or another from this conference, with so many eminent experts from all over the world sharing with us their valuable experiences, professional insights, inspiring ideas and success stories on promoting safety and health at work as well as on building a safe community.
In so far as the Labour Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is concerned, ensuring safety and health at work is one of our principal tasks, and we are committed to improving our safety performance at work. The views and innovative ideas expressed in the conference have certainly shed new light on how we can make further improvements in this important area of work in the years to come.
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your support. To our overseas guests, I hope you can stay on for a few more days, have a great time in Hong Kong, and finally have a very safe journey home. Last but not least, I wish the 13th International Conference on Safety Communities to be held in Praque, Czech Republic, in 2004 every success.
End/Thursday, March 20, 2003