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ISO GA Overview 04

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					                              Building Confidence into a New Era
                             Overview of the 32nd ISO General Assembly




                                        ISO Secretary-General, Mr. Robert Steele

The 32nd ISO General Assembly,             However, the 2009 GA also               governance practice, as well as the
hosted by the South African                featured thematic continuity with       need for better risk management
Bureau of Standards in Cape Town           the 31st ISO General Assembly           and to ensure business continuity.
from 16 – 18 September 2009,               held in Dubai during 2008. At that      International Standards promote
represented a transitional shift to a      time, the world was reeling from        business and help to restore the
new era on several fronts for the          the consequences of the global          confidence essential to economic
international ISO family. It was the       recession sparked by the sub-prime      development.” ISO Secretary-
first ever ISO GA held on the              lending crisis in the United States.    General Rob Steele concluded,
African continent, a significant           Although many economies are now         “We give those who read standards
development which reflects ISO's           emerging from the recession, the        the answers they need to the
commitment to drawing the entire           role of standards in mitigating         problems and issues they are
family of nations into its activities      financial crisis was still firmly in    facing. Standards are pragmatic
and sphere of influence.                   the spotlight.                          and so are standardisers. In two
                                                                                   words, we are ‘confidence
The theme for the 2009 GA was              In her welcoming address, SABS          builders’.”
“Energy – Why International                CEO Dr Bonakele Mehlomakulu
Standards are vital”, which again          noted, “What role could standards
reflects a transition to a new era in      have played in mitigating the           Global Participation
which        humankind's       heavy       global consequences of the
dependence on fossil fuels must be         banking crisis? Could we use            The 2009 GA was attended by 365
mitigated as a necessary response          international standards to prevent a    delegates        and       observers
to the looming threat of climate           recurrence in the future? The           representing 108 ISO member
change.                                    economic crisis also serves to          countries out of a total of 162. The
                                           reinforce the truism that standards     Developing Country (DEVCO)
At an organisational level, the            are vitally important during the        sessions attracted 255 delegates, 13
2009 GA also represented an                good times, and doubly so during        delegates participated in the ISO
important planning stage as ISO            troubled times.”                        Technical Management Board
moves from its 2005-2010                                                           sessions, and 23 ISO Council
Strategic Plan (a first for the ISO        ISO President Dr Alan Morrison          members contributed to the
organisation) into the new plan for        added, “A major imperative is the       Council sessions on Saturday
2011-2015.                                 need to restore confidence and to       19 September.          In        all,
                                           promote good business and
412 participants registered for the             Greenhouse              Gas     regional cooperation is the most
32nd ISO GA.                                    Quantification, Reporting       effective mechanism for sharing
                                                and      Verification.    A     experience, organising training and
                                                regional awareness raising      optimising the participation of
DEVCO Sessions (14 & 15                         seminar on these standards      developing        countries      in
September)                                      was held in April 2009 in       international standardisation.
                                                San José (Costa Rica) in
As part of its Strategic Plan 2005-             which      18      countries
2010, ISO also has an Action Plan               participated.                   Developing Countries
for developing countries 2005-                  A regional awareness            involvement in standards
2010, now in its fifth year of                  raising seminar on ISO          development
implementation. In his first report             14001 – Environmental
as ISO Secretary-General, Rob                   management systems was          The fifth objective of the ISO
Steele stressed that international              held        in       Astana     Action Plan is to encourage the
standards are a necessary link to               (Kazakhstan) in November        involvement      of      developing
global supply chains, underpin                  2008 in which four              countries in the technical work
international trade and access to               countries participated.         performed by ISO's technical
markets, and contribute towards                                                 committees, sub-committees and
reducing barriers to trade. During                                              working groups. By participating at
the past year, funding and              Training and Regional                   these three levels, developing
assistance to developing countries      Cooperation                             countries ensure that their interests
has increased considerably, along                                               are taken into account and, in
with distribution and use of the        Participating       actively       in   doing this, they contribute to
conformity assessment tool. Since       standardisation activities is of        strengthening      ISO's      global
the last GA in Dubai, much              direct importance to the national
technical work has been done in         economy, and accessing the
the fields of water, energy, climate    relevant information requires an
change, food products, health and       effective infrastructure, appropriate
safety, social responsibility and       tools and qualified staff in the
conformity assessment. ISO has          national and regional bodies in
also made a considerable effort to      charge of standardisation. During
disseminate        and       improve    the period under review, ISO
awareness         on       standards,   training courses and e-learning
particularly in the fields of food      programmes have been organised
safety, environmental management        to train experts and ISO member
and climate change, as well as on       staff in standards development.
building technical infrastructure.      Efforts were sustained to support
SABS Technical Committees               the participation of developing
(TCs) will concentrate their efforts    countries in the development of the
and align their work with the ISO       future ISO 26000 on Social
focus on these key areas. Key           Responsibility. Also, a sponsorship           Director-General of dti,
points of interest included:            programme was initiated to                    Mr. Tshediso Matona
                                        enhance      developing      country    relevance. Sponsorships continued
        ISO 22000 - Food safety         participation in the work of            to be provided to delegates from
        management         systems      ISO/TC 223 on Societal security.        developing countries to participate
        continued to be one of the                                              in ISO technical committee
        key areas of focus in light     In line with the objectives set out     meetings, such as ISO/TC 34, 37,
        of requests made by             in the ISO Action Plan for              71, 138, 207, 223 and 228.
        members. In response, a         developing     countries,   greater     Sponsorships are also being
        number of seminars and          emphasis has been placed on             specifically provided to encourage
        workshops were organised        strengthening regional and sub-         developing country members to
        worldwide.                      regional cooperation and building       participate in the work of TC 242 –
        In response to climate          partnerships to increase efficiency     Energy Management.
        change, ISO has responded       in the delivery of technical
        with the development of         assistance       and       training     Developing countries are also
        standards such as ISO           programmes.      Experience     has     being urged to provide input in the
        14064 and ISO 14065 for         shown that regional and sub             formulation of the ISO Strategic
                                        2015. It is crucial that South Africa   considered by the ISO TMB. The
                                        nominate an expert to be part of the    proposal draws on an existing and
                                        workshop in Ghana.                      similar standard for water services.

                                                                                COPOLCO also recommended that
                                        Consumer Policy and                     ISO should undertake the revision
                                        Conformity Assessment                   of ISO/IEC Guide 51, Safety
                                        developments                            aspects – Guidelines for their
                                                                                inclusion in standards. The ISO
                                        During the 2009 GA, several             TMB and IEC SMB approved the
                                        Consumer    Policy    Committee         development of this revision as a
                                        (COPOLCO) and Conformity                jointly published ISO/IEC Guide.
                                        Assessment Committee (CASCO)
                                        developments of interest to             During     2008,    CASCO       has
                                        developing    countries   were          launched a number of events to
                                        discussed.                              promote the CASCO toolbox and
                                                                                highlight the importance of
                                        In 2008, COPOLCO approved a             implementing             recognised
                                        proposal      from      Consumers       conformity assessment practices.
                                        International recommending that         This is essential to address
 General Manager, Sustainability        ISO develop an International            technical barriers to trade, reduce
   and Innovation, ESKOM,                                                       the cost of conformity assessment
                                        Standard giving guidelines on the
     Ms. Wendy Poulton                                                          procedures and ensure greater
                                        assessment and the improvement
Plan 2011-2015 as well as the ISO       of energy services to users. The        confidence in the trade of goods
Action for developing countries         proposal, a type of "global energy      and services.
2011-2015. ISO has launched a           charter" for consumers, is a set of
consultative process to inform          guidelines to help energy service       CASCO working groups, which
these plans. ISO Secretary-General      providers (both of networked and        include South African committees,
Rob      Steele   expressed    his      non-networked      systems,    and      are currently involved in the
satisfaction with the progress of       regardless of the energy source in      revision of the following standards
these consultations. He mentioned       question) ensure fair access to         - ISO/IEC 17007, ISO/IEC 17021
that the ISO member bodies must         energy through a combination of         Part 2, ISO/IEC 17020, ISO/IEC
ask themselves this question: what      regulatory measures, incentives         17024, ISO/IEC 17043, and
is needed from ISO by National          and standards. COPOLCO has now          ISO/IEC 17065.
Standardisation Bodies and local        submitted a new work item
stakeholders?                           proposal,      Assessment      and
                                        improvement of energy services to
The SABS has finished the               users, which will shortly be
consultative process with all the
relevant stakeholders for South
Africa's input into the ISO
Strategic Plan 2011-2015. ISO will
be hosting 6 regional workshops
around the globe to discuss the ISO
Strategic Plan 2011-2015 for
developing countries. The African
regional workshop will be hold in
Ghana at the beginning of
December 2009. The workshop
will provide an opportunity for
developing country members to
evaluate activities undertaken since
2005 and to contribute to begin
formulating        an       effective
developing country policy that will
translate into the ISO Action Plan
for developing countries 2011-                                   South African delegates
General Assembly Sessions              be ignored. South Africa is an         that there is good technical
(16 – 18 September)                    active participant in technical        collaboration between ISO and
                                       committees and currently holds the     IEC. He reported that a number of
Overview    of   ISO           and     secretariat to nine ISO TCs. The       areas of overlap and duplication
standards development                  Secretary-General continued that       between the two organisations
                                       the scopes of standards need to be     were reviewed, monitored and
ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele       developed way before the actual        resolved over the past year by the
reported that ISO has 162 member       development of the standards but       ISO Technical Management Board
countries, liaises with more than      there shall no be short cut to         (TMB)        and      the     IEC
700     organisations   and    has     standards       development.      In   Standardization       Management
published 18 000 standards.            conclusion he mentioned that ISO       Board (SMB).
Revenue is derived from member         exists because of all its members,
country    fees    and    webstore     so ISO needs to encourage              There      has    also    been     a
standards sales. The report of the     spreading the secretariat of work to   strengthening       of     ISO/IEC
Treasurer confirmed that ISO is in     other member bodies. South Africa      collaboration in the technical
good health, closing 2008 with an      is committed to increasing its         policy area: over the last year, a
operating surplus of 1.4 million       influence, along with other African    number of joint groups have been
Swiss francs (approximately ZAR        member states, in international        established by the TMB and
10.5 million). All membership fees     standards development, with the        IEC/SMB to address such issues as
have been paid so far.                 aim of becoming standards setters      the market relevance of ISO and
                                       and not just standards takers.         IEC      technical     work,     the
                                                                              development of guidelines for
                                                                              committees developing standards
                                                                              which can support public policy,
                                                                              and to investigate whether there is
                                                                              a need to simplify the range of ISO
                                                                              and IEC deliverables. To date, the
                                                                              joint group has received no
                                                                              coherent message from the market
                                                                              place, so they are proposing to
                                                                              carry out a survey to try to draw a
                                                                              clear response.


                                                                              Technical Management Board
                                                                              initiatives

                                                                              Most of the TMB action items
                                                                              identified in the ISO Strategic Plan
                                                                              2005-2010 have been completed.
     SABS CEO, Dr. Bonakele Mehlomakulu and SABS Standards                    Of the outstanding items, work
                  Executive, Ms. Vanida Lennon
                                                                              continues on compilation of data
ISO standards offer robust                                                    concerning the use and adoption of
solutions to businesses and to the                                            International Standards at the
financial sector, ranging from         Cooperation with other                 national level. Currently such data
quality, to IT security to specific    standards bodies                       is collected as part of the new
financial standards. ISO is actively                                          process for the systematic review
responding to global challenges        ISO works closely with the two         of    standards.     The    General
with new projects such as anti-        other major international standards    Assembly encouraged member
counterfeiting       and       fraud   bodies,      the      International    bodies to provide as much
countermeasures.                       Electrotechnical       Commission      information as possible about the
                                       (IEC) and the International            adoption and use of International
Steele encouraged the use of           Telecommunication Union (ITU),         Standards in their countries. In this
strategic advisory groups (SAG)        as well as with the World Trade        regard, South Africa reports that
but mentioned that the technical       Organization (WTO). In his             70% of South African National
committee role in the development      address to the 2009 GA, IEC            Standards are aligned with ISO and
of international standards shall not   President Jacques Régis confirmed      IEC standards.
                                                 commodity        trade      is   certain standard. When the toolbox
The Strategic Advisory Group on                  impacted by standards. As        and implementation guide has been
Energy efficiency and renewable                  companies         reprioritise   published by ISO, SABS in
energy sources has identified a                  their businesses, standards      partnership with ISO central
number of other areas which                      should not be lost. Some         secretariat, universities, academia
should be addressed by existing                  benefits of standards are to     and South African companies shall
technical committees or for which                facilitate trade, foster         use this methodology to analyse
new committees should be                         innovation, attract and          and clarify the contribution that
established. South Africa is                     retain customers, and            voluntary standards add to the
particularly      interested        in           increase efficiency.             performance        of      individual
contributing to efforts in this area.            Germany:           Standards     companies and industry sectors.
                                                 contribute      more        to   Being able to quantify the value of
Over the last year, the TMB has                  economic growth than             standards in this way holds obvious
established a project committee on               patents and licenses. In         benefits for the SABS.
anti-counterfeiting tools and more               2000      the      economic
recently a technical committee for               benefits of standardisation
fraud       countermeasures      and             for      Germany        were     Awards
controls. A number of other                      estimated at 1% of GNP -
proposals are under consideration                16 billion Euros. 80% of         In remembrance of the late
including sustainability criteria for            the businesses surveyed do       Secretary-General, Dr. Lawrence
biofuels, consumer credit scoring,               no know the exact cost of        D. Eicher, the ISO Council decided
traditional           Chinese/Asian              adapting      to      foreign    to create the "Lawrence D. Eicher
medicine, treated wastewater re-                 standards differing from         award for excellence in creative
use, sustainability in events                    ISO/IEC standards.
management,               stakeholder            Australia: Standards can
engagement        in     consultative            play a useful role in the
processes,        liquefied      and             diffusion of knowledge
compressed natural gas vehicle                   and productivity growth.
filling stations, and criteria for               Standards can show new
evaluating the economic benefits                 ways of doing things and
of energy saving measures. Where                 can grow the market of a
feasible, South African technical                country.
committees should be involved in
these new ISO projects.                  ISO is currently busy conducting a
                                         study (to be completed in 2010) on
                                         the whole value chain of the
Economic benefits of                     automotive sector. The study aims
consensus-based international            to provide:
standards                                    1. a set of methods that
                                                 measure the impact of
The United States, Germany and                   standards        on       an
Australia     contributed       their            organisation
perspectives to ISO's project to             2. clear and manageable
measure the impact and value of                  criteria to assess the value
standards, which are summarised                  associated with using              ISO innovative
                                                                                  and President, Dr. Alan Morrison
                                                                                                        ISO/TC/SC
thus:                                            standards, and                   services and initiatives", to be
        United               States:         3. guidance on developing            presented by the President at the
        Standardisation        helps             studies to assess the            General Assembly. The winner for
        companies to reduce costs                benefits     of    standards     2009 was ISO TC 172, Optics and
        and helps to address the                 within a particular industry     photonics. South Africa is not a
        current            economic              sector.                          member of this TC.
        problems. Businesses must
        understand the value of          The methodology of the ISO study         The first ISO Award for Higher
        standards and standards          applies    to    micro-economies         Education in Standardization was
        must talk the language that      (companies and organisations)            presented at the 2007 General
        is understood by business.       enabling them to evaluate the cost       Assembly. The 2009 winner was
        80%     of     the    world      benefit when implementing a              the    Rotterdam    School    of
Management in the Netherlands.        Elections and Appointments
The importance of standardisation                                            The Open Session consisted of two
activities   in    education     is   Three new Council members were         panels, one dedicated to energy
increasingly recognised around the    elected for the 2010-2011 term:        efficiency and the second to
world, and international standards    Malaysia in Group 3, and               exploring the contribution that
of the type developed by ISO are      Kazakhstan and Malta in Group 4.       international standardisation can
increasingly            understood,   Mr Sadao Tadeka (Japan) was            make to renewable energy. Mr.
worldwide.      It    is     highly   appointed     as  Vice-President       Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director
recommended that the SABS             (Policy), and Mr Jacob Homblad         of the International Energy
should investigate ways of            (Denmark) was re-appointed as          Agency, delivered the first panel
sponsoring      an      educational   Vice-President        (Technical       keynote address on “Energy
programme or initiate a chair with    Management).                           efficiency and renewable energy
the university of Pretoria or                                                sources – A key to a better
Tshwane University of Technology                                             tomorrow”. The keynote address
(TUT). For example, the SABS can      Open Session (17 September)            for the second panel, titled
                                                                             “Renewable energy – a step
                                      As the only session which is open      towards      sustainability”,  was
                                      to the public, the Open Session is a   delivered by IEC President Jacques
                                      highlight of the ISO General           Régis.
                                      Assembly. The 2009 theme was
                                      “Energy – Why International            Delegates also heard presentations
                                      Standards are vital”. In her           from a range of experts on:
                                      welcoming address, SABS Board                  Measuring            energy
                                      member Wendy Poulton stated,                   efficiency
                                      “South Africa is currently dealing             The systems approach to
                                      with an era of energy expansion                energy management
                                      and is looking at opportunities to             The impact of managing
                                      progressively decarbonise our                  energy consumption on
                                      energy processes over time.                    climate change
                                      Options       include    renewable             Managing energy use in
                                      energies such as wind, large scale             industry
                                      solar and large hydro imports,                 Geothermal energy
                                      nuclear power, gas and clean coal              Wind energy
                                      technologies and new transport                 Solar heating
                                      solutions... We would encourage                Solar     Thermodynamics,
                                      ISO to look to giving effect to the            and
                                      UNFCCC and global energy                       Key challenges for the
         Gala dinner
                                      efficiency efforts and call for                electric vehicle industry
offer a program/module on             momentum towards voluntary             The ISO Council asked the
standardisation and quality. This     standards         on       baseline    Secretary-General to ensure that
will raise awareness of the           methodologies and Monitoring and       the recommendations from the
importance of standardisation, will   Verification as a cornerstone for      open session be referred through
also help to transfer skills,         identifying concrete measures for      appropriate mechanisms to the
knowledge and technology, and         improving our energy outlook.          relevant bodies such as the TMB
will promote good business            Given the drive for renewable          and the Strategic Advisory Group
practices      and     sustainable    energy on a global scale we would      on energy.
development.                          also encourage ISO to further
                                      broaden its scope on standards
                                      related to renewable energies in its
                                      programme of work.”
Vote of thanks

Delegates to the 32nd ISO
General      Assembly       were
enthusiastic in their praise and
gratitude to the SABS for
hosting the event: “The General
Assembly expresses its deepest
thanks to the South African
Bureau of Standards for its
warm     welcome      and      the
outstanding arrangements it has
made for ISO Cape Town 2009.
Further, the General Assembly
expresses its heartfelt gratitude
to the staff of SABS for their
untiring     helpfulness      and
cooperation before and during
the event, which facilitated the
                                     Delegates enjoying themselves at the gala dinner
proceedings      and      greatly
contributed to the success of the
event.”

				
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