ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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IEC Participation Expands with Addition of New Affiliate Program Members

New York, May 10, 2002

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), an international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, has announced that the newly established Affiliate program has attracted 51 new countries to the IEC's constituency. ANSI, via the U.S. National Committee (USNC), is the sole U.S. representative to the IEC.

Created in 2001, nations participating in the IEC Affiliate Country Program take part in certain IEC activities and gain a greater awareness of IEC International Standards without the burden of paying membership dues. In addition to learning about the IEC, the affiliate program also helps the organization to identify work areas relevant to newly industrializing countries through the launch of an IEC Affiliate Country Forum. The forum will operate electronically via the IEC website and will also serve to establish common positions for participating countries, which will be communicated to the relevant technical or management committees.

"Countries that participate in the affiliate program have committed themselves to using relevant IEC standards and learning how to monitor relevant technical work in the IEC technical committees, with a view to establishing an IEC National Committee within their country and seeking actual membership in the organization in the future," explained Charles Zegers, ANSI program director of International Policy and general secretary of the USNC of the IEC.

The IEC has two principle forms of participation including active and associate member status, of which there are 52 and 11 respectively. An active membership allows a country to fully participate in all IEC standardization activities and confers equal voting rights to each National Committee member. An associate membership is designed for countries with limited resources and allows them to participate in IEC meetings as observers without voting rights.

Members of the IEC comprise many of the world's major trading nations and a growing number of industrializing countries. The IEC provides a global forum for the preparation and implementation of consensus-based voluntary international standards that facilitate international trade in electrotechnology and help meet expectations for an improved quality of life.

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