Abu Dhabi, UAE:The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Annual Meeting 2022 starts tomorrow at the ADNOC Business Centre in Abu Dhabi. Hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), the event runs from 19-23 September and will witness the participation of more than 2,000 delegates physically and virtually.

The ISO Annual Meeting will take place in the presence of: His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; His Excellency Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Ulrika Francke, President of the ISO; and Sergio Mujica, Secretary General of ISO.

Over the course of the event, delegates will participate in specialized sessions and workshops designed to facilitate conversations that will shape the future of standardization.

Key sessions

Some of the main sessions taking place include ‘Convergence of Technologies and Youth Collaboration’, hosted by MoIAT, which will highlight the importance of youth’s involvement and leadership in developing standards that keep pace with the advancement of technologies. His Excellency Omar Al Suwaidi will deliver a keynote during the session.

His Excellency will also take part in a session called ‘Has Covid launched the digital transformation of conformity assessment?’. It explores how the digital transformation of conformity assessment can be leveraged further for the benefit of all. The discussion will hear from Amina Ahmed, Chief Executive of Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC) and Chair of the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC); as well as Pavel Castka, Professor, University of Canterbury; and Eve Christine Gadzikwa, CEO of the South African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS).

There will be a session called ‘Standards development for the ‘new normal’ and the London Declaration’, discussing how to seize the chance to change processes and culture for the better. It will hear from Silvio Dulinsky, Deputy Secretary General, International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Other key sessions include: ‘How international standards can help implement credible climate plans’; ‘How trade policies can support the climate agenda’; ‘Innovative solutions for water scarcity’; ‘The circular economy: going digital’; ‘The London Declaration: one year on’; ‘Trade in the age of digitalization’; and ‘Resilient food systems: an innovative and sustainable approach’.

There will also be a ‘Future World Café’, where delegates will explore the driving forces that shape our world and discuss future trends and challenges with experts on various subjects. On Thursday, the ISO General Assembly will take place, in which a new ISO President will be appointed and new ISO Council members will be elected.

Prominent speakers

Some of the main speakers participating in sessions include Ulrika Francke, current President of ISO; Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of ISO; Sung Hwan Cho, nominated candidate for next ISO presidency; Dr Hermogene Nsenginama, Secretary General of African Organization for Standardization; H.E. Dr. Farah Al Zarooni, Assistant Undersecretary for the Standards and Regulations Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT); H.E. Essa Al Hashmi, Assistant Undersecretary for Sustainable Communities, UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; and Dena Assaf, United Nations Resident Coordinator for the UAE.

As well as convening international officials and experts physically and virtually, the ISO Annual Meeting will witness the signing of several MoUs between MoIAT and various other national and international standardization bodies.

Hosting the ISO Annual Meeting supports the UAE’s Make in the Emirates campaign to usher in a new phase of enabling and stimulating the industrial sector, driven in part by the country’s quality infrastructure ecosystem, which is a fundamental pillar of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, otherwise known as Operation 300 Billion.

The Make it in the Emirates campaign extends an open invitation to industrialists, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to engage with the ministry and benefit from the UAE’s exceptional value proposition in order to fulfil their ambitions of developing, manufacturing and exporting their products.

It is a key pillar of Operations 300 Billion, which aims to raise the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031. The strategy is aligned with national goals and international commitments relating to advancing sustainable economic growth, deploying clean energy solutions, driving industrial innovation, and promoting responsible consumption and production.

The UAE highly values its quality infrastructure. The country has finalized around 27,000 standards and technical regulations across areas related to industry, advanced technology and future industries, alongside other sectors including healthcare, education, construction, food, agriculture, and management systems, among other dynamic sectors that shape the future.

Leading UAE companies and institutions are sponsoring the meeting, including Emirates Steel, Emirates Global Aluminium, Al-Futtaim Group, Etihad Aviation Group, the Multinational Companies Business Group (MCBG), and the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, ISO comprises 167 member countries and more than 340 technical committees. ISO connects the public and private sectors to advance the quality infrastructure ecosystem, with representatives from 123 member and 31 observer countries participating in its annual meetings.

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