ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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IEC, ISO, ITU Celebrate World Standards Day on October 14, 2003

New York, Oct 14, 2003

While the U.S. celebration of World Standards Week was held in conjunction with the ANSI Annual Conference, World Standards Day is officially celebrated on October 14 by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). World Standards Day is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards. The theme for this year is "Global Standards for the Global Information Society."

In their official World Standards Day message, Dr. Sei-ichi Takayanagi, President of the IEC; Mr. Oliver Smoot, President of ISO, and Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU, agree that information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a direct bearing on almost every aspect of social development - from education through healthcare, public administration, economics, finance and banking, commerce and business, international relations, and technology transfer to poverty reduction.

The three leaders state: "ICTs mostly had their origins in mature industrial societies, and now play an increasingly important role in helping developing countries and economies in transition to fulfill their potential. The challenge is how best to employ the tools of the Information Society to achieve development goals on a global scale, maximizing the benefits while minimizing obstacles and barriers.

"Key to making ICTs work for developing countries are the international standards created by the IEC, ISO and ITU,” the message continued. “International standards simplify the use of existing and new technologies, reduce costs and complexity, open markets and foster broader access to products and services. In today's age of converging digital technologies, the three organizations are working ever more closely across the entire ICT spectrum."

World Standards Day began as a celebration of the birth of ISO, which held its first meeting in London on October 14, 1946. From an initial roster of 25 countries, ISO (based in Geneva, Switzerland) now has 123 member nations and has evolved into the global clearinghouse for all standards activities. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is ISO's U.S. representative, and is one of the founding organizations of World Standards Day.

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 full "standards weeks" around mid October.

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