Qingdao Forum on International Standardization held in China

East China’s Shandong province delivers a global message on the importance of “Standards for the SDGs”.

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Barnaby  Lewis
By Barnaby Lewis
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The 2021 Forum was held on 27-28 July in Qingdao and was hosted by the Shandong Provincial People’s Government and the State Administration for Market Regulation, with the active participation of the ISO member for China, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).

The hybrid event, involving both virtual and physical participation, attracted more than three hundred people from China and around the globe. It was attended by leaders of the organizing bodies and the SAC, as well as other ministries and commissions, academicians from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and experts from well-known Chinese research institutes and universities. In addition to the main conference, the event consisted of four sub-forums and a series of related activities. Top officials from ISO took part, together with representatives from other leading standards organizations including the the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Addressing the Forum by video, ISO President Eddy Njoroge explained how ISO has “engaged with key international stakeholders and aligned ourselves with the support of international treaties, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), in developing strategic roadmaps for a system of standards on climate change mitigation and adaption.”

Highlighting the importance of attracting younger people to standardization, Eddy Njoroge also spoke of the ISO Next Generation Award, recognizing the contribution of former ISO President, Dr Zhang Xiaogang from China, who has sponsored the Award. “The Award recognizes young professionals from ISO members who are championing sustainability-driven standardization and the value of partnership to tackle issues from a multidisciplinary perspective,” added Njoroge.

ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica, a passionate advocate for the role of standards in sustainable growth, told delegates that “at ISO and throughout the global standardization community, we know that standards grow economies by opening access to markets, levelling the playing fields, creating a platform for innovation and reassuring consumers about the quality of the goods and services that they use.”

ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica addressed the 2021 Qingdao Forum by video.

Highlighting the importance of collaboration at all levels, Mr Mujica reinforced the message that success will require the cooperation of many public and private partners and the use of all available tools to disseminate this practice, including International Standards and conformity assessment. With the integration of standards into wider approaches being essential to success, the ISO Secretary-General recognized that China has made excellent progress, using a coordinated and determined approach, towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through its wider incorporation into China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, as well as a host of medium- and long-term strategies, many of which are underpinned by standardization.

The 2021 Qingdao Forum is a confirmation that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and standardization are a key commitment for China. “The 2021 Qingdao Forum is a major step towards further establishing the links between standards and the SDGs. Both here in China and around the world, through standards, we are empowering people with real-world solutions to face sustainability challenges head on. At the core of these shared goals, there is a desire for a world that is better, fairer and more inclusive and sustainable,” Mr Mujica concluded.

The series of activities held during the event included the signing ceremony of a strategic cooperation agreement between Shandong Provincial People’s Government and the SAC.

The biennial Forum, previously held in 2017 and 2019, has established itself as a high-level platform for an ongoing dialogue on international standardization, generating cooperation opportunities among international, regional and national standards organizations, as well as promoting the development of standardization.

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