Members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) joined the 2018 COPANT General Assembly in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which highlighted best practices and experiences related to standards used in regulations and public policies. ANSI staff also served on panels related to engaging stakeholders, and a session on the digitization of standardization.
COPANT is the reference for technical standardization and conformity assessment for the countries of the Americas for its members and international peers, and promotes the development of its members. During the meeting, COPANT Working Groups (WGs) met with members to discuss their recent achievements and to discuss plans for progress. The overarching goal of the working groups is to support COPANT's 2016-2020 strategic priorities.
ANSI participated in several panel discussions throughout the week including a discussion on international and national cooperation organizations, and provided an overview of the current status of the Standards Alliance, noting its success of the program, now in its fifth year of implementation.
ANSI's Joseph Tretler, vice president of international policy, also co-led a Working Group session with the Brazilian National Standards Organization (ABNT) on Increasing Participation in International Work for Targeted Economic Areas at the event.
Participants agreed on the need to strengthen the mutual cooperation and communication on international standardization, and the need to identify means for sponsoring members to attend CASCO meetings. CASCO is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee that works on issues relating to conformity assessment. CASCO develops policy and publishes standards related to conformity assessment, it does not perform conformity assessment activities. Membership to CASCO is open to full and correspondent members. ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO.
Another suggested action for greater collaboration is for COPANT members to share annual work plans and share the needs of the country on an annual basis, and to make a repository of these work plans available to COPANT members. Participants also suggested to develop a mentor program to help countries understand the new work item templates.
ANSI staff highlighted recent events including those in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and the CAFTA-DR region.Mr. Tretler, moderated a session on Engaging Stakeholders, which covered good practices and tools to involve stakeholders in the standardization process. ANSI also participated in a panel on Twinning, co-moderated by the ANSI and DGN.
USNC president John Thompson co-moderated a session on standards, regulations, and public policies with the National Standards Body of El Salvador (OSN). The panel, which consisted of representatives from Colombia, U.S. Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, also highlighted best practices and experiences related to standards used in regulations and public policies.
Additional discussions focused on the IEC succession plan, and a session co-moderated by ANSI and DGN (Mexico), focused on the exchange of best practices and experiences of COPANT members on the digital transformation of standardization in their organizations.
ANSI also met with representatives from Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, Mexico, and the UK to address pertinent issues.
A workshop panel of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) took place on April 16th to discuss recent updates of activities carried out and program of support to the COPANT region for 2018. ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO, and, via the U.S. National Committee, the IEC.
The next COPANT meeting is scheduled for May 6-10, 2019, and will be hosted by the ICONTEC (Colombia) in in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. ABNT (Brazil) will host the General Assembly in 2020 and BBSQ (Bahamas) will host the COPANT General Assembly meeting in Bahamas in 2021.