GSO President’s Speech in Celebrating the World Standards Day 2021
The GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) is participating in the celebration of the International Standardization Day (October 14, 1947), the anniversary of the establishment of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). “SHARED VISION FOR A BETTER WORLD” was chosen as a theme for this year.
Each year on 14 October, the members of IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate the World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as International Standards.
On this occasion, it is my pleasure to present to all employees of the national standardization bodies (NSBs) in the Member States in general, and those working in standards activity, with sincere congratulations and best wishes on this occasion, in recognition of the great efforts that they exert to provide internationally recognized standards of high reliability and credibility in all ways of life.
This year’s theme emphasizes the pivotal role of sustainable development with its three dimensions (social, economic, and environmental) in meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the rights of future generations to meet their own needs, reducing the depletion of natural resources, creating development that can be protected and sustainable, investing in scientific development and research projects to provide environmentally friendly projects, to maximize human well-being and encourage development, innovation, and economic growth for people.
The theme for this year’s celebration also highlights the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global call of action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Additionally, highlighting the successes or failures that have been achieved in many areas such as climate change, economic equality, promoting innovation, sustainable consumption, peace, and justice, among other priorities, the countries of the world are seeking to fulfill their commitments towards.
There is no doubt that achieving the SDGs requires a common vision and working in a spirit of partnership to bring positive change for people and the planet, in a practical way so that we can make the right choices to improve life for the present and sustain it for the future. It provides clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt according to their priorities with the environmental challenges facing the entire world as a top priority.
To reach these goals, it requires the cooperation of many partners from the public and private sectors, and the use of all available tools, including international, regional, and national standards that help in achieving the SDGs. The entire system of standards is based on collaboration. Working with partners, people can come up with realistic solutions to sustainable challenges. This is a testament to the strength of collaboration and the affirmation that together we are stronger.
And recently, with the world’s ongoing battle to date against the Corona pandemic, standards have become more important than ever. Many standards support each of the SDGs, and without a doubt, organizations and companies looking to contribute to the SDGs will find that standards and conformity assessment procedures provide effective tools to help them meet the challenges.
In this context, GSO issued more than 26,500 unified Gulf standards and technical regulations that cover many different sectors such as health, chemistry, food, agriculture, oil, gas, management, information systems, building construction, and metrology, which directly contribute to support the achievement of SDGs, with the blessed efforts of the General Committee for Standards and forty-four technical and sub-committees and working teams represented from all GSO member state.
GSO is working hard to support and rehabilitate laboratories operating in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries through the Gulf Association for Laboratories (GCCLAB). In addition, through the GULFMET, as a regional metrology organization with international recognition, GSO is establishing a metrological structure that supports national capabilities to contribute to increase international recognition of measurement calibration of national metrology laboratories in member states. Also, the GCC Accreditation Center (GAC), which was established by GSO, provides accreditation and technical evaluation services in various fields of conformity, including testing and calibration laboratories, medical laboratories, certification bodies for products and individuals, management systems, inspection bodies, and Halal certification bodies.
Awareness activities in standards sectors and training programs has been implemented by the GCC training center. The importance of standards, metrology, and conformity verification procedures in supporting the SDGs was highlighted, in cooperation with its partners at the regional and international levels, targeting various legislative, industrial, and commercial sectors.
The SDGs are leading our way towards progress, which requires us to continue our partnerships with different sectors and build new relations and focus on supporting environmental, economic, and social practices towards achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as accelerating our future plans and strategies and our shared vision for a better world.
In this regard, GSO signed more than 64 MoU’s and technical cooperation to strengthen its strategic relations with its partners in regional and international organizations, thus effectively contributing to support international trends and visions to achieve SDGs and supporting international standardization as the common international language.
Furthermore, GSO was keen on the participation of the public and private sectors in the Member States in the work of the Gulf technical committees and to contribute to the preparation of Gulf standards and technical regulations and to make observations thereon. The GSO urged the NSBs in the Member States to form national technical committees corresponding to the Gulf technical committees, to include representatives from government agencies, industrial, commercial, and service sectors, the major user’s sector, universities, and other academic bodies, as well as chambers of commerce and industry, believing in their active role in achieving sustainable development.
With no doubt GSO Member States have adopted many initiatives on the path of economic, social, and environmental development. They have built a strategic partnership for sustainable development with the relevant international and regional bodies, and they are following with interest the progress they have made towards implementing the SDGs, with a comprehensive review of the states of the sustainable development goals. Additionally, they are aligned with States’ national strategic visions, and supporting the actions taken by the private sector and non-governmental organizations to achieve the 2030 sustainable development plan.
In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to the efforts exerted by international, regional, and national organizations in the field of standardization. I would also like to thank all those working in the field of standardization and its various activities in Member States and all the standardization organizations’ supporters.