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Pacific Area Standards Conference Approves Business Plan

Action highlights the importance of international standardization to trade and commerce

New York, Sep 08, 2003

An 11-member U.S. delegation comprised of ANSI members and staff attended the 26th meeting of the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC), a forum to strengthen international standardization programs for nations in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Les Eastwood of Motorola, chairman of the ANSI Regional Standing Committee -- Asia-Pacific (RSC-AP), led the delegates to the meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam on August 21-23, 2003.

The meeting agenda was highlighted by the importance of international standardization to trade and commerce. The first-ever PASC Business Plan was approved; the document identifies several projects for action, including the strengthening of PASC member involvement in regional standardization activities and in international standardization programs such as the ISO, IEC and ITU. PASC will serve as a forum to improve quality and capacity of standardization in the region’s economies, support free trade within the region and with other regions, and support improvements of economic efficiency and development. The PASC website (www.pascnet.org) will be more actively utilized as a tool to develop proposals for international standardization and for regional coordination.

Several presentations were made, including a report from ISO Secretary General Alan Bryden, on the importance of enhancing consumer and developing country participation in standardization activities. PASC members were encouraged to promote the involvement of their respective consumer organizations in standardization activities. It was also recommended that PASC members participate more actively in the ISO Consumer Policy Committee (ISO/COPOLCO).

These discussions were closely linked to topics raised during the second of two Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)/PASC Training Programs on Participation in International Standardization Activities that was held immediately prior to the PASC meeting. With a primary focus objective to identify factors and conditions that encourage and discourage active participation in international standardization, the training resulted in a series of recommendations to the PASC Standing Committee on the development of a “best practices” guide to assist delegates with their responsibilities and participation in international standardization activities and a “twinning” arrangement between developing and developed countries, similar in to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical (IEC) activities in this area. ISO Secretary General Bryden noted that 37% of the total ISO technical committee, subcommittee and working group secretariats are held by PASC members and there has been an 18% increase in ISO participating (P) memberships by PASC members in the last five years.

Representatives of the IEC and the ITU were also on hand to share information and contribute to the discussions on global relevance and formalizing processes for improved interface between and among PASC members and international standards organizations.

Noting the upcoming ISO General Assembly and the IEC General Meeting, PASC members approved resolutions supporting the candidacy of its member representatives within the governance structure of both organizations. Support was given to Frank Kitzantides (US) for IEC vice president and chairman of the Standardization Management Board (SMB) and Tony Flood (Canada) for IEC president.

In addition, Gary Kushnier, ANSI vice president of international policy, was reelected for a second, three-year term as chair of the PASC Standing Committee.

The next annual PASC meeting will be held in Vancouver, Canada, May 23-28, 2004.

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