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A shared vision for a better world on WSD
IEC 2021-10-15

A high-level panel session has brought together the heads of the IEC, ISO and ITU-T to discuss the important role of standards in helping the world to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 130 participants followed the online event, which took place as part of the World Standards Day celebrations.

Evoking Adam Smith, IEC General Secretary Philippe Metzger described standards as an invisible hand that although unseen was essential in our everyday lives.

"The effects of standards are multiple.  They ensure safety, help market entry and enable competition which facilitates innovation. This leads to more efficiency and more sustainability. Without standards, the modern world would hardly be governable," he said.

According to the Director of ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Chaesub Lee, the SDGs are a call for global action which will require collaboration and consensus in order to succeed. "We cannot imagine our daily lives without ICTs, especially after the pandemic," he said. "ICTs contribute to all 17 goals, such as education, digital health as well as sustainable and smart cities. The benefits of digital transformation should be available everywhere for everyone."

Sergio Mujica from ISO agreed. "It is quite difficult to think about our daily lives without standards, which are an invitation to excellence. They define what is the best possible way to do something." Mr Mujica linked the work of standards to the SDGs, remarking that while the SDGs provided the objectives and timeframe, standards identified how to achieve these goals.

Mr Metzger stressed that international standards addressed the concerns of society and were essential for the post-pandemic recovery. "In general terms, IEC work has an impact on all 17 SDGs in one way or another," he said.
"If you look at our work process, it is quite clear that discussion on decarbonization and an all-electric society are underway. We have very clear pointers of what matters in the world and we need to address them."

The theme for World Standards Day 2021 is "A Shared Vision for a Better World". It marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign to raise awareness about the contribution of standards towards achieving the UN SDGs.

World Standards Day is held every year to promote international standards as a crucial instrument for global trade and economic development. It is also a tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the International Standards that make the products that we use safe and efficient.

(Source: IEC)

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