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ISO and ANSI Hold Successful Leadership and Management Meeting

Washington, DC, Apr 19, 2004

In March of 2003, Alan Bryden, the newly appointed secretary-general of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), visited with ANSI leadership for his first official trip to an ISO national body. Mr. Bryden returned to ANSI headquarters in Washington, DC, on April 14 for a follow up meeting with ANSI management to review progress on key ISO issues; he was joined by ISO Deputy Secretary General Kevin McKinley and ISO President Oliver Smoot.

One of the key topics for discussion was a progress report on the development of ISO’s strategic plan for 2005-2010. Following the open commenting period for all ISO national bodies and selected international organizations conducted in 2003, Bryden reported that the ISO Council held a special strategic planning session on March 17, 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. Based on the discussions at this special session, the ISO Council leaders will prepare a next draft version of the ISO strategic plan for a final ISO Council member review and comment prior to its submittal for approval at the September 2004 ISO General Assembly meeting. The plan is expected to include strategic vision statements and related tactics for addressing the following themes within ISO:

  • Developing a consistent multi-sector collection of globally relevant international standards;
  • Ensuring the involvement of stakeholders;
  • Being open to partnerships for the efficient development of International Standards;
  • Raising awareness and capacity in developing countries; Promoting the use of International Standards as a substitute or support to technical regulations;
  • Being the neutral provider of a complete range of International Standards and guides for conformity assessment; and
  • Providing efficient procedures and tools for the development of a coherent and complete range of deliverables.

"ANSI leaders and management are pleased to see that many of the ANSI comments were accepted by ISO Council for incorporation in the development of the ISO 2005-2010 strategic plan," said ANSI president and CEO Mark W. Hurwitz. But this meeting also provided an opportunity to reiterate and discuss with Mr. Bryden a number of ANSI comments that have not been accepted by ISO Council, as these issues may continue to confront ISO in the coming years. In general, ANSI comments can be described as advocating great flexibility and responsiveness from ISO for the benefit of various industry sectors and stakeholder groups, and as promoting extensive partnerships between ISO and other organizations to seek synergies and mutually benefit from one another.

Mr. Bryden discussed with ANSI leadership a new initiative for formal partnerships with other standards developing organizations (SDOs), "for the efficient development of International Standards." Partnership agreements would allow for promotion of normative referencing between relevant ISO and partner SDO (PSDO) standards; fast-track processing of an already published standard or formal adoption by a PSDO of a published ISO standard; and enhanced cooperation in the development of an ISO International Standard. Potential partners under this agreement could be any SDO with multinational input and global reach (U.S.-based or otherwise), international fora and consortia.

"ANSI has been urging ISO to be more inclusive with respect to work produced by other international standards organizations, starting with the pilot projects that began several years ago," said Hurwitz. "ANSI and its members support ISO having formal partnerships with other SDOs, and look forward to seeing a successful implementation of this latest initiative."

Other key issues for ISO that were explored at the meeting included intellectual property and related patent and commercial issues, global relevance, and conformity assessment.

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