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Regional Update: ANSI Delegates Set to Meet Leaders of Standards Groups Around the World

Agendas and Dates Available for Regional Standing Committee Meetings

New York, Mar 27, 2002

Building and maintaining strong regional relationships is the focus of a series of meetings taking place this year between ANSI's three Regional Standing Committees (RSC) and members of the Central/South American, Asian/Pacific Rim, and European/Middle Eastern/African standards organizations. The RSC's were formed by the ANSI International Committee to intensify and broaden U.S. participation in regional standardization and conformity assessment activities at policy levels.

The Institute will send a strong delegation to each of these meetings, including members of its senior staff and voluntary leadership, and is soliciting representatives from the ANSI Federation to join the outreach efforts. Interested parities should contact Mary Bowers, ANSI RSC program manager, for participation or general RSC information.

Regional Standing Committee on the Americas

Chairman of the ANSI Regional Standing Committee on the Americas (RSC-A), Alexander McMillan, will lead a 15-member delegation to a series of meetings in Argentina and Brazil to discuss ways of strengthening ties and to begin a dialogue for future initiatives with the leading standards organizations in the region.

The agenda for the April 15-16, 2002 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina will concentrate on issues of mutual interest including the proposed development of a Memorandum of Cooperation between ANSI and IRAM, the national standards body of Argentina. The theme of the meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 17-19, is to initiate dialogue for future collaborative efforts between the U.S. and regional standards groups. U.S. delegates will deliver a presentation on the National Standards Strategy when it meets with officials of the MERCOSUR Association for Standardization [Editor's note: MERCOSUR refers to the common market of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay]. In addition, ANSI and ABNT, the national standards body of Brazil, will explain their respective standards and conformity assessment processes and explore ways to develop stronger ties.

Chairman of the ANSI Board of Directors, Oliver R. Smoot will lead a 14-member delegation to the General Assembly meeting of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT), a civil, non-profit association that promotes the development of technical standardization and related activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the U.S. delegates attending the May 15-17, 2002 meeting in Toronto, Canada are Dr. Mark Hurwitz, ANSI president and chief executive officer, and Alexander McMillan. Topics of discussion will include the COPANT Strategic Plan, which was recently approved by the organization's Board of Directors.

Dr. Hurwitz, a COPANT Board member, commented, "I am very pleased that the Strategic Plan has been finalized; I believe the implementation of these new initiatives will greatly promote COPANT's efforts to facilitate social, industrial, scientific and technological growth in the western hemisphere."

Regional Standing Committee on Asia Pacific

A 12-member U.S. delegation to the 25th meeting of the Pacific Area Standards Conference (PASC), a voluntary, independent organization of Pacific area national standards organizations, will be led by ANSI Chairman of the Board, Oliver R. Smoot. Joining Chairman Smoot in Nadi, Fiji on June 2-7, 2002 will be Dr. Hurwitz and Les Eastwood, chairman of the Regional Standing Committee on Asia Pacific (RSC-A).

"Today, an increasing number of standards issues are resolved at the international level," Smoot noted. "The U.S. welcomes the opportunity to share viewpoints with our neighbors in the Pacific Rim and to engage in productive dialogue about better ways to cooperate with Asian countries involved in global standardization."

The draft agenda for the Fiji meeting includes a series of workshops that will focus on such topics as increasing the participation in standards development activities of developing countries in the region, enhancing consumer involvement in regional standardization and the proposed revisions to the PASC charter entitled "New Directions." Proposed revisions include an expansion of the organization's mission and purpose as well as improvements to its operating procedures and a new emphasis on creating a more formalized structure.

Regional Standing Committee on Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Bilateral meetings between the U.S. and members of European standards organizations and representatives from the European Union will take place in Washington, DC on November 6-7, 2002. A preliminary agenda is currently being developed by members of the Regional Standing Committee on Europe, the Middle East and Africa (RSC-E/ME/A) and further details will be disseminated once the program has been finalized.

Additional RSC-E/ME/A outreach efforts to Middle Eastern standards organizations may include a U.S. delegation visit to the region in late November 2002, including proposed meetings to be held in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Egypt. The committee is currently examining the viability of these meetings and will communicate additional information in near future.

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