Inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network
The inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) was held on 26 September 2018 in Genève, Switzerland. 24 Commonwealth National Standards Bodies, four regional standards organizations and several other interested stakeholders contributed to the event where they helped shape the network to deliver the following outcomes:
- Increase use of existing international standards
- Improve technical and institutional capacity of National Standards Bodies
- Increase trade
- Reduce poverty.
Dr Scott Steedman, ISO Vice President of Policy and Director of Standards at BSI said: “The Commonwealth Standards Network is open to all Commonwealth countries and will provide a platform to share best practice and exchange ideas, it will promote the use of existing international standards to foster innovation and improve export potential to increase intra-Commonwealth trade.”
Speakers at the event included:
- Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva - noted the UK commitment to tackling international non-tariff barriers and the potential benefits for the international standardization community to a strengthening Commonwealth voice.
- Scott Steedman, ISO Vice President of Policy and Director of Standards at BSI - discussed the benefits of international standardization and how the CSN can help increase Commonwealth trade and reduce poverty.
- Manuel Mutale, Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) Director - explained how the Commonwealth Standards Network technical assistance programme will help Zambia pursue its development goals.
The CSN is a collaborative network open to all Commonwealth countries and regional Commonwealth associations. It has been launched to tackle non-tariff barriers and promote strong trade amongst all Commonwealth states through the participation, adoption and implementation of international standards.
Standards play an important role in promoting productivity and efficiency, reducing costs, removing barriers to trade, and driving economic growth. As such the network will be especially relevant to developing nations that are looking to boost their export capabilities through the use of standards. It is important that its members are actively involved in shaping its development to suit their needs.
To find out more about the network and/or membership, please contact the CSN Programme Manager Ben Hedley firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendees at the inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network:
24x National Standards Bodies:
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Lucia
- South Africa
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
4x Regional Associations:
- African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO)
- The Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT)
- CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)
- Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
Other interested stakeholders:
- UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)
- UK Department for International Development (DFID)
The Commonwealth Standards Network:
At the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the British Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Commonwealth Standards Network. BSI is overseeing the development and delivery of the first two years of the project.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting on 16th April 2018 stated: “The network will provide a significant opportunity for national standards experts to collaborate and share best practice and it will empower developing countries to have a stronger voice in the international standards community – something that has benefits on a global scale.”