Speech by Mr Philibert Ramaroson - participant in the Master in Occupational Health and Safety, 4th Edition (2015-2016), at the start of the 2016 academic year at the Turin School of Development (TSD) of the International Training Centre of the ILO
Rector of the University of Turin,
Director of the ILO Training Centre,
Representatives of Training Centre donors,
Dear colleagues, course mates and fellow participants,
I would firstly like to say to you: SALAMA Tompoko! A noble way in my dear country of Madagascar of saying welcome and hello!
It is always difficult to introduce yourself to such an exceptional and eminent group of intellectuals and distinguished guests, especially on such a special day for the Training Centre. It is difficult as I am standing before you to speak on behalf of my colleagues, I am also representing my dear country Madagascar and in addition to that I am speaking to you in the language of Molière, in French, a language that unites us in the great Francophone community.
Thus, ladies and gentlemen, rest assured that it is with all due respect that I am undertaking this weighty task of speaking before you today with great honour, great joy and great satisfaction. I can only very simply say to you Merci, Thank you very much indeed, Grazie Molte.
Thus, my first words will be to tell you that this is a great honour, as I am speaking to a gathering that is representative of the whole world, in a place that brings the world together within one campus. Many people envy us for being in this fascinating city which is rich in history, with its great residents
I said that it is an honour to be here today because I believe rightfully that I am taking part in important training that aims to prevent accidents and illnesses in the workplace, a mission very dear to the International Labour Organization.
For 97 years the International Labour Organization has continued the fight for this decent work while taking into account the unbridled and relentless changes in the world of work due either to globalization or technological development.
It is a great joy, ladies and gentlemen, because we have also had the opportunity to discover the wealth of this country, and more specifically the Piedmont region, during visits to companies that are a part of our course. It is a wonderful experience to see and to know how passionate Italians are about their work.
Very recently, we made a trip to a historic asbestos mining site. We were received by two wonderful women in this small installation. A colleague asked this young engineer why she had chosen to work on the rehabilitation of this mine even though she is fully aware that it is very dangerous. With a smile, this young woman told him: I know that many people have contracted occupational illnesses right here, illnesses that affected them throughout their lives. I love rehabilitation and I want to leave my stamp on this place. My family encourage my work here.
Yours Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, my last words will be to tell you that I have the satisfaction to be at this centre with my colleagues, course mates and other participants with whom we have hugely enriching experiences on a daily basis. We are very grateful as this country and this training centre have given us an exceptional warm welcome. You have shown us that hospitality is not a market commodity but a culture. And, as I said before, many people envy us, because every day we are enjoying this Italian DOLCE VITA.
Today, we are gathered to mark 2016 solemnly. We must remind ourselves that we are the main actors in this challenge. We are the main actors as we all have a common dream: learning to understand, understanding to achieve an objective, achieving an objective to defend and promote a cause that we jointly call CHANGE. And we are going to share this dream together.