Attendance by Indonesian Government representatives and major Indonesian consumer organizations demonstrated the importance given in this country to a highly successful 32nd plenary of the ISO Committee on consumer matters (ISO/COPOLCO) in Bali.

At the opening of the 32 nd COPOLCO plenary, from left: I Nyoman Yasa, Secretary of the Bali Provincial Government; Jacob Holmblad, ISO Vice-President (technical management); Dr. Edy Putra Irawady, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of Indonesia; Dr. Bambang Setiadi, Chairman of the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia and Chair of the ISO Committee on developing country matters (ISO/DEVCO); Norma McCormick, Chair of ISO/COPOLCO, and Dewi Odjar Ratna Komala, Deputy Chairman for Information and Promotion of BSN.

The plenary, held on 27-28 May 2010, was hosted by the ISO member for Indonesia, the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia (BSN). Some 130 delegates participated, including representatives of 33 ISO member countries, Consumers International, academia and national and regional consumer organizations.

In the opening address to the plenary, the Indonesian Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Dr. Edy Putra Irawady highlighted the growing importance of ISO, the world’s largest developer of International Standards: “As a credible international institution on standardization, ISO plays a strategic role by supporting international trade through the development of International Standards which have become reference tools in trade transactions.

“In dealing with global competition in which open and fair trade practices are the main postulates, Indonesia appreciates the important role of standardization. Therefore, the Government has high hopes for BSN to play a significant role in improving standards both in accommodating changes of product characteristics and global consumption patterns, and in protecting consumers and end users of products circulated in the domestic market.”

Dr. Edy Putra Irwady went on to highlight ISO/COPOLCO’s key role as an enabler of consumer participation in the standards development process. He added: “I sincerely believe that this Bali meeting will bring real benefits to consumers. The contribution of each participant is important in the development of harmonized International Standards so that the common interests of consumers will be accommodated appropriately.”

The 32nd ISO/COPOLCO plenary was notable for the strong participation by representatives from the Indonesian Government, which also included: the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Bali Provincial Government.

Speaking on behalf of ISO, ISO Vice-President (technical management) Jacob Holmblad told participants that ISO gives particular importance to the way consumer interests are considered. “ISO/COPOLCO is a crucial link in the value chain,” he said, "by safeguarding the views and interests of consumers, and by acting as the ‘terrier of ISO’ – someone who keeps you alert and ensures that you do not take everything for granted.

“Seize the opportunities, exploit the possibilities, learn from your mistakes and let yourself be guided by your successes by making the most of these for maximum impact! And, finally – continue acting like a terrier!”

For more information about COPOLCO, contact its Secretary, Ms. Dana Kissinger-Matray at copolco@iso.org