Standards are a form of exchange and Standards Connect the World is the central theme of this year's World Standards Day message, signed by Mr. Sei-ichi Takayanagi, President of the IEC; Mr. Oliver Smoot, President of ISO, and Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU.

Exchanges come in many forms, some examples of which involve getting food from farms to kitchen tables, products to distributors and consumers, power from generating plants to home and industry, and messages through telecommunication networks and computer systems.

The three leaders point out that exchanges require connections and interfaces which international standards significantly help to harmonize and facilitate by ensuring smoother, swifter, safer and more economical delivery. Their presence in products, services and in the components of the supply chains around the world, International Standards are an essential foundation to the global trading system.

The international standardization system that comprises IEC, ISO, and ITU has helped ensure qualities like efficiency, effectiveness, economy, quality, ecology, safety, reliability, compatibility and interoperability are built into products and services.

According to the three leaders, one essential benefit of adopting International Standards is that these not only connect markets but also help connect developing countries and transition economies to "state-of-the-art technological know-how", which enables them to increase their export capability and competitiveness. In addition, because participation in the standard development process also enhances human connectedness, it is not solely a technical and economic issue.

The three leaders of IEC, ISO, and ITU conclude their message by declaring that it is a matter for pride and optimism that thousands of people around the world from very different backgrounds come together within the three organizations to cooperate effectively in achieving international consensus on standards that make a positive difference in our world.

World Standards Day 2004