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Regional and International Coordination Take Spotlight at COPANT Assembly and PASC 30 Meetings

New York, May 16, 2007

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently sent a delegation of eighteen representatives led by ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia to the joint annual meetings of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Held April 23-28, 2007, the meetings were hosted by the Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación (ICONTEC), Colombia’s national standards body.

Increased coordination within and between the respective regions was a focus of the week’s meetings, which included a joint assembly of COPANT and PASC members on April 25, 2007. Both bodies agreed on the need to work more cooperatively to ensure that the regions have a stronger voice in international standardization. Initiatives that emerged to this effect included the exchange of information on candidates for International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) governance positions and an agreement to increase training and capacity building initiatives through shared efforts. Additionally, COPANT and PASC pledged to take steps to enhance the use of standards in regulations and to foster general awareness of the value of standardization.

At its assembly meeting on April 23-24, COPANT approved a proposal to create a Technical Advisory Group on fire protection, with an integral focus to be coordinated by ANSI. In addition, ANSI proposed a training and capacity-building seminar for COPANT national standards bodies, officials of local jurisdictions, and interested countries on the fundamentals of fire protection codes.

As a result of last year’s request for Spanish to be considered as an official language of the ISO and IEC, the Assembly discussed the creation of an ISO Spanish translation management group. Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba expressed their intentions to participate in this effort.

PASC 30 meetings closed out the week, April 26-27, with the noteworthy highlight of a joint meeting with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) to discuss free trade and the alignment of standards in the Asia Pacific region. Acknowledging the benefits of harmonizing national and international standards, PASC encouraged its members to continue regional cooperation efforts to achieve this end. PASC also agreed to collaborate with ABAC to raise awareness of the impact of standards on trade, especially among businesses, government and industry leaders, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and regulatory authorities. A full summary report of the week’s meetings can be found here.

The 2008 COPANT Assembly will be held during the week of May 5-10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. PASC 31 will be held in Shanghai, China, on April 21-25, 2008. Please contact Bridgette Dziedzic, program administrator of ANSI Regional and Bilateral Programs for more information (

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