The rescue of 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped hundreds of metres below ground for two months is a testament to their bravery and perseverance, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.
In a statement issued last night, he said that we join with the people of Chile and the families of these heroic miners to celebrate this extraordinary triumph of human ingenuity and the strength of the human spirit. "
Mr. Ban hailed the miners for working together and for never giving up.
I join with all who lent a hand in the rescue effort, all who hoped and prayed, in this moment of relief and happiness. "
International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Juan Somavia, who is Chilean, said in a statement that he shares joy of millions of people all over the world at the return of these heroes from the depths of the earth. "
He pointed out that the incident was a result of inadequate safety measures, underscoring that employment in unsafe conditions is a human tragedy. "
Every day, some 6,300 people die from occupational injuries or diseases, amounting to 2.3 million deaths per year. In addition, there are more than 330 million accidents at work annually.
Perhaps one of the most significant contributions of the 33 Chilean miners is to have made the whole world that much more conscious of the need to ensure more safety, more protection, more prevention, more decent work, with the most urgent attention being given to work done in dangerous conditions, " Mr. Somavia said.