By Clare Naden
As we continue to battle global challenges such as climate change, COVID-19, and inequality, now, more than ever, we need to work together to make sustainable change. “A shared vision for a better world” is the theme of this year’s World Standards Day, which marks the start of a multi-year campaign aimed at raising awareness of how international standards contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs offer a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Global action to achieve these goals will require the cooperation of private and public organizations across the world. International standards developed by IEC, ISO and ITU are based on international consensus and collaboration, empowering countries with practical solutions to face sustainability challenges head on.
“Today, we face an urgent challenge to ‘build back better’ and standards are more relevant and more applicable than ever,” says ISO president Eddy Njoroge. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated existing inequalities that risk setting us back in achieving the SDGs.
“Standards are a proven way to help level the playing field, improving global health, creating infrastructure that responds to a changed world, and improving the resilience of people, businesses, and organizations everywhere.”
“Access to sustainable electricity is the cornerstone of economic development and a key condition to achieve all SDGs,” adds IEC president Yinbiao Shu. “Standards contain the know-how and expertise of thousands of experts to ensure the safety, sustainability, and interoperability of all relevant systems and devices. They help mitigate climate change, provide access to better care and education, encourage more efficient manufacturing, and ensure the delivery of basic services which, in turn, help stabilize societies.”
“As we take global action to achieve the SDGs, we can reinforce this action by working together in international standardization,” says ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how closely we are interconnected, but also the many divides we must still overcome. Inclusive standardization processes help us to advance together. Let us renew our resolve to ensure that progress towards the SDGs is inclusive of everyone around the world.”
As part of the campaign, a toolkit has been made publicly available on the World Standards Day website featuring a wide range of free resources including slide kits, virtual meeting backgrounds and social media templates, along with impactful ready-to-use messages. Events and activities worldwide are also highlighted.
World Standards Day is organized by the world’s leading developers of international standards IEC, ISO and ITU. Together, they collaborate on many relevant initiatives under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation.
About the author
Clare Naden is news and communications specialist at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).