His designation comes at a point when international standardization is called on to respond to the globalization of trade, the issues posed by new challenges such as sustainable development, and the requirements of the information society.

ISO is in a unique position to provide International Standards based on consensus among the economic stakeholders, while taking into account the needs of developing countries. Today, there are nearly 14 000 ISO standards addressing all economic sectors. ISO is composed of the national standards institutes of 145 countries large and small, industrialized and developing, in all regions of the world. AFNOR is the member for France.

Since Alan Bryden took up the leadership of AFNOR in October 1999, he has undertaken a thorough transformation of the organization. AFNOR today is a group of services with an extended scope of standardization and a wide-ranging participation in international standardization. In addition to the creation of certification, and training and consulting subsidiaries, AFNOR has become a true "e-enterprise" in all its business activities.

Alan Bryden takes up the post of ISO Secretary-General on 1 March 2003.

The post of Secretary-General of ISO became vacant after the death of Dr. Lawrence D. Eicher on 21 March. Dr. Christian J. Favre, who has been serving as Acting Secretary-General, has been appointed Secretary-General until Mr. Alan Bryden takes office.

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