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First-Ever Joint PASC/PAC Plenary Meeting Hosted by ANSI in Hawaii

New PASC Secretary Chosen; PAC MLAs and MOUs Signed to Boost International Trade

New York, Jun 07, 2013

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) served as the host of the first-ever Joint Annual Meeting of the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) on May 18-26 in Honolulu, Hawaii, as part of an effort to strengthen the two groups’ cooperative work. The event brought together more than 150 delegates and guests from 20 countries throughout the Pacific Rim region for a series of meetings, panels, and discussions on topics essential to the future direction of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies and economic growth worldwide.

What Are PASC and PAC?
PASC is a voluntary organization of Pacific area national standards organizations that serves as a forum for strengthening the region’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standardization activities, supporting free trade and economic growth, and fostering information exchange and collaboration with other standardization stakeholders. PAC is an association of accreditation bodies working to facilitate trade and commerce in Asia Pacific economies by promoting international acceptance of its members’ accreditation activities. Both are Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Specialist Regional Bodies (SRBs).

During the nine-day event, PASC held its 36th plenary, which was overseen by Gary Kushnier, ANSI vice president for international policy, who served as the meeting’s chair. Participants attended panels covering ongoing trends in world standardization and listened to reports covering recent relevant activities carried out by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ). Other activities included an update on the PASC Action Plan, reports on PASC’s ongoing pilot projects, and a discussion of methods for improving coordinate with other world standards bodies.

PAC also held its annual plenary during the joint event, in addition to a number of other meetings, including gatherings of the PAC Executive Committee, MLA Management Committee, Technical Committee, Developing Programs Committee, and Communications Committee, and multiple sessions of the PAC Trainee Peer Evaluator Workshop. In addition, meetings were held by PAC working groups (WGs) on personnel, greenhouse gas emissions, product, and management systems.

At a joint PASC/PAC dinner and ceremony on May 22, Colin Blair, chairman of the PASC Executive Committee, presented the PASC Meritorious Service award to current PASC secretary Juichi Nagano of Japan, to mark his exemplary work on behalf of the organization. His contributions include five years as PASC secretary and an earlier five-year stint as a PASC member representing Japan. Mr. Nagano is scheduled to step down as PASC secretary at the end of 2013, when he will be replaced by Tak Leong Cheong of Singapore, who was chosen during the plenary to serve as secretary from 2014 to 2016.

Following the PASC presentations, PAC celebrated the signing of a number of new agreements. The Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) and the Dubai Accreditation Department (DAC) signed Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs) for Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The Sri Lankan Accreditation Board (SLAB) signed MLAs for QMS, EMS, and Product, while both International Accreditation (IA) Japan and India’s National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) signed MLAs for Product. The National Accreditation Body of Indonesia (KAN) signed a MLA for Food Safety Management Systems, becoming the first such signatory. The Bhutan Standards Bureau was presented with an official certificate classifying the group as a new corresponding member, and TCL India signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) that established that organization as a new observer member of PAC. ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia served as moderator for the evening’s lineup of activities, which also included a post-dinner show of traditional Hawaiian music and dance.

Other joint PASC/PAC events during the week included an Opening Ceremony, with welcome remarks provided by Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie [see related story] and introductory remarks provided by Jim Pauley, chair of the ANSI Board of Directors, and a Welcome Reception for all attendees and their guests. In addition, joint meeting breaks and lunches were scheduled whenever possible to encourage the information exchange and collaboration that the event was intended to foster between the two groups.

For more information about the PASC/PAC Joint Annual Meeting and a complete schedule of events, visit the meeting’s official site at http://pasc-pac-2013.com. To access pictures from the meeting, click here.

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