ISO Annual Meeting 2022

Standards development harnesses the power of online collaboration
September 15, 2022
As ISO Annual Meeting closes, collaboration stays open to al
October 14, 2022

Monday 19 September

President of ISO, Ulrika Francke, opens ISO Annual Meeting saying: “If the pandemic has taught us one thing: from challenges emerge opportunities, and from shared challenges emerge shared opportunities.”

Innovation for transformative climate solutions

“Standards allow us to unleash a lot of potential for climate and sustainability action,” said Massamba Thioye from the UNFCCC at the recently concluded panel session. “Having someone understand what it means to be innovative in climate solutions is an important step to getting there. Standards, focusing on outcomes, allow us to achieve climate solutions.”

The panel brought together leading climate experts to discuss the importance of innovative solutions to address climate challenges and how these integrate international standards. It stirred debate and discussion on how to facilitate solutions that support the climate-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and address core human needs for food, shelter, mobility, and access via alternative value chains aligned with those SDGs.

The session looked at climate-related initiatives. There was a discussion of strategies to ensure the widest applicability of solutions and to take into account the needs of cities, which are feeling some of the most intense effects of climate change. Among the examples cited is the city of Goyang, South Korea.

Transition to new innovation systems and an equitable climate agenda will require collaboration across cities and cross-cutting topics. No one sector, no one actor can do this alone.  All agreed that the “go-alone” approach doesn’t work.

Also, panellists highlighted the usefulness of standards as instruments of change. Whether these pertain to mitigation, adaptation or finance, ISO standards cover the breadth of climate-related efforts.  According to one panellist, “standards allow significant global impact enabling local actions”.

An important current through all the discussions was how we can make standards come alive as we try to focus on bringing together climate responses. There needs to be a move away from climate risk to climate opportunity, focusing on people as solution providers.

Panellists ended the session with much enthusiasm and hopes for the upcoming COP27 to be held in Egypt in November. There ISO will launch net-zero guiding principles, providing, for the first time, a standardized definition of net zero and related concepts.

Development Bank Chief: “more standards needed”

“International trade will be about standards,” said Marcos Troyjo, President of the New Development Bank (NDB), who gave the opening keynote at this week’s 56th Annual Meeting of the ISO Committee on developing country matters (DEVCO).

The world is transitioning, he said. The cooperative work we do together, among other things the standards we develop, are opening “a new chapter of globalization that works better for all”.

The NDB Chief outlined the parameters by which economic gain will be made, including standards. He also spoke about how more globalization is key to solving the geopolitical challenges and inflationary pressures to restart the global economy – as well as to avert global pandemics moving forward.

The meeting, chaired by DEVCO Chair Julia Bonner Douett, marks more than six decades of helping developing countries increase their participation in standardization and maximize the benefits. It was an opportunity for ISO members, representatives of international organizations and regional standardization bodies to exchange experiences and best practices in support of ISO’s Strategy 2030 and the Action Plan for developing countries 2021-2025.

The DEVCO meeting benefitted from a virtual contribution from Mr Aik Hoe Lim, Director of Trade and Environment at the World Trade Organization (WTO). He touched on the importance of standards and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), as well as the importance of trade itself as a driver of growth. He went on to highlight the challenges of climate and pointed out that real progress can only be made if it can be measured. “We need to establish the integrity of measurements so that we can establish meaningful comparisons”, said Lim. He went on to point out that environmental targets can only be met if there is a shared understand of what those targets are, and the ways in which they can be measured.

Building on the points raised by Mr Aik Hoe Lim, which reinforced the role for international standards, the Head of the WTO’s TBT Trade and Environment Division Eric Wijkström was there in person to take questions from an engaged and participative audience.

ISO Annual Meeting underway

Technologists, entrepreneurs, and leaders from business and government alike have come together in Abu Dhabi today for the ISO annual meeting. The hybrid event is always a highlight of the international standards calendar but has reached new heights this year with a greater number of participants than ever before.

With over a thousand people joining in-person and some four thousand online, ISO, together with the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), has succeeded in putting together a programme that appeals to many who may not previously have thought of themselves as standardizers.

The importance of collaboration, and a wider view of the role of standards, was a prominent theme in the opening remarks of Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of MoIAT, who said “this week’s meeting is vital not just to the global industrial ecosystem, but more broadly to trade, economies, and climate action.”

His Excellency Al Suwaidi’s comments were further reiterated by the ISO leadership as President Ulrika Francke took to the stage where she inspired delegates, asking them to “drive the spirit of collaboration forward at national, regional and international levels.”

The Annual Meeting, which features an unprecedented number of participative workshops this year, was officially opened as ISO Secretary-General, Sergio Mujica, told delegates in his concluding welcome to expect a packed and highly col laborative few days.

The ISO Annual Meeting 2022 runs from 19 to 23 September. Find out more and join us virtually in Abu Dhabi.