ISO Secretary-General, Rob Steele, challenged delegates to the 35th General Assembly of ISO, the world's largest developer of International Standards, taking place on 19-21 September in San Diego, USA, with his favourite question – “So what?”
The General Assembly is being attended by 379 delegates from 118 ISO member countries and 13 partner international and regional organizations.
In the Secretary-General's report, Rob Steele declared: "It is clear that solid progress is being made against the key strategic objectives of the ISO Strategic Plan 2011-2015. Key priorities are identified and action is being taken to address these.
"However, it is clear that there needs to be a much stronger link between ISO and our key customers. The issues of economic growth and rapidly changing expectations create a significant opportunity for ISO as International Standards can play a significant part in meeting those expectations.
"But we must now look at each other and be bolder. To achieve the potential of the opportunity requires us to look at what standards are needed in the world in ways that allow us to respond to and meet that need in ways that are simpler, faster and better than we ever have before, using all of the skills, experience and credence of the ISO name to meet our customer’s needs. We need to use whatever resources are available to do this and the time to do that is now."
Among issues being discussed during the General Assembly are:
- Key issues in standardization from the perspectives of partner standardization organizations, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)
- ISO intellectual property rights and the copyright of ISO standards
- The resources ISO and its members need to meet future customer needs
- Information technology tools
- Working with partners to meet the ISO Strategic Plan 2011-2015, and
- Standards and education.