Today's global workforce has become increasingly mobile. Individuals are more likely to change jobs, organizations, careers and even countries, several times throughout their lifetime. With rising unemployment, skills development and training are one of the few constants needed to obtain, and keep decent work.
The statistics are startling: Road traffic crashes kill more than 3 000 people, including 1 000 children and young people, every day. Annually, 1.3 million are killed and at least 50 million are injured. Now more than ever, steps must be taken around the world to ensure road safety comes to the top of the international agenda.
The end of 2009 could see a new treaty to replace the Kyoto protocol, following the much awaited United Nations Climate Change Conference to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Climate change is also the subject of this year’s World Standards Day (October 14).
As the world takes its first sluggish steps out of an economic recession, it becomes clear that what the world needs now is confidence, the bedrock of business. And ISO standards are all about promoting and renewing confidence. Because of their international multi-stakeholder recognition and their voluntary nature, they are powerful tools for organizations to become proactively accountable.
Hazards are all around us. The causes may be different – whether human negligence, malevolence or natural disasters – but their likelihood (and seriousness) is no less real. The June issue looks at how International Standards are practical tools to assess, prevent and respond to hazards.
The development of international consensus-based standards cannot be carried out in isolation. To ensure practicality, wide adoption and address current needs, it is crucial to include a large spectrum of stakeholders, so that all views are reflected in the end product.
Tools like digital photography, PDF and XML have dramatically transformed the way we communicate, opening up a world of possibility for the media. Minutes after it happens, we can read online about an earthquake hitting a remote part of the world. Today, anyone can witness an event, capture it on video, and post it on the Web to be seen by millions.
Access to safe water is recognized as a basic human right. Yet, while part of the world’s population takes its supply of on-tap water and sanitation services for granted, millions of people must work hard to secure it. Still others are entirely deprived of this basic right.
Around the world, the small and medium-sized enterprises
are a vital engine of innovation and job creation. Therefore, understanding the real challenges and
opportunities shaping the future of SMEs is a matter of the highest importance.