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IEC, ISO and ITU Issue Joint World Standards Day Message

Theme of Global Standardization ties into that of World Standards Day 2003

New York | Geneva, Switzerland, Jul 22, 2003

For the benefits of the information society to be distributed equally, its reach needs to be global – necessitating the use of international standards. Such is the idea that is woven throughout the joint World Standards Day message issued by the leaders of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) – the technologies that are essential to disseminating information and knowledge electronically – are what makes a global information society possible, and are now playing an increasingly important role in helping developing countries and economies in transition to fulfill their potential. “The key to making ICTs work for developing countries are the international standards created by the IEC, ISO, and ITU,” explained IEC president Dr. Sei-ichi Takayanagi, ISO President Oliver Smoot and ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi. “International standards simplify the use of existing and new technologies, reduce costs and complexity, open markets and foster broader access to products and services.”

The joint communiqué, which is issued annually to the members of each organization, also noted, “The potential benefits of international standards for developing economies and those in transition include significantly better opportunities for developing local industries and internal markets.” Participation in the standards making processes of IEC, ISO, and ITU was identified as a means to give stakeholders the opportunity to shape standards according to their views and specific needs – whether in the developed or the developing world. As noted by each organization’s leader in the joint message, the ISO, IEC and ITU “are actively involved in the preparatory process for WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) to ensure that the critical role played by international standards in offering the best tools to support both growth of the Information Society and more equitable development is fully appreciated by the heads of state that will be attending the Summit.”

In line with the concept that the true benefit of the Information Society will come only with the development of global standards, the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day (WSD) 2003 is focusing on the theme, Building Global Security Through Standards. The event, which will be held on Tuesday evening, September 30th at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC , includes an exhibition, reception and dinner. Reservations are now being accepted.

“This year’s U.S. celebration of WSD will highlight the work that is already underway or complete— such as the information technology (IT) and communications technologies that support secure financial transactions and biometrics— while also leading to the identification of new needs,” explained Pam Suett, ANSI manager of education and training. “The U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee is drawing attention to work that is underway on both a micro level – helping to protect the health and safety of individuals and communities – and on a macro level – securing information technology systems, communications, international trade, transportation and more. Globally recognized standards address the security needs of the nation and the world.”

The goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide. The international event pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities. Since its initial celebration in 1970, member countries commemorate World Standards Day by organizing special gatherings and events, ranging from conferences, exhibitions, and seminars to film shows, TV and radio interviews and more, including the full “World Standards Week” events that are structured around World Standards Day by members of the United States standardization community.

Also scheduled during the U.S. celebration of World Standards Week is the 2003 ANSI Annual Conference, Homeland Security: Collaboration, Innovation and Standardization, which will be held on Wednesday, October 1st at the Marriott at Metro Center hotel in Washington, DC. An agenda and conference registration information is available via the World Standards Week 2003 pages of ANSI Online.

Early registration discounts for the Annual Conference will be available through September 1, 2003; the final deadline for registration is September 19, 2003.

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