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In the past few months, IEC has welcomed two new Members, Peru in December 2017 and Côte d’Ivoire in March 2018, both countries joining IEC after about 15 years of participation in the IEC Affiliate Country Programme. In March as well, São Tomé and Principe became the latest participant in the Programme. Taking these changes into account, the IEC family now comprises 171 countries, of which 85 are Members and 86 Affiliates.
Traditionally, the last issue of the year provides feedback on the IEC General Meeting (GM), held in 2017 in Vladivostok, Russia.
In his address to Council, Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO, reminded the audience that digitization is a key focus for both industry and standards organizations. Standards will play a key role in the digitization of industry, healthcare and every other part of our life. The new Masterplan, approved and published prior to the General Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, sets the goals and expectations for the Commission, in this area among others, for the years to come.
Each year sees an increase not only in the number of countries participating in the IEC Affiliate Country Programme but also in the number of International Standards adopted as national ones, national electrotechnical committees (NECs) established and Affiliate Plus status granted. In the past 12 months, the Affiliate Secretariat has been extremely busy supporting participants in the Programme through workshops, seminars, webinars and training sessions, to name but a few of the support activities organized to raise awareness and know-how in developing countries.
Over 170 participants from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America attended the Conference.
During his address to Council, IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk highlighted the main achievements since Minsk and talked about important ongoing projects.
Traditionally, women have not been encouraged to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As a result, a low number has made it into this field. Standards are meant to improve the safety and quality of products and services used by everyone. However, to achieve this, they must include the significant physiological differences between men and women and their potential impact in daily situations.
Africa is the world’s second-fastest-growing region, topped only by emerging Asia. Over the coming years the African economy is expected to grow by 7,7% annually – almost double the rate of advanced economies. Even though Africa is starting from a low point, corresponding roughly to where Southeast Asia was 30 years ago, the opportunities are huge. Already now Africa is third in terms of investment, right after the European Union and China. A more reliable infrastructure and consistent energy access could significantly accelerate this trend.
The Affiliate Secretariat team has been very busy since the IEC General Meeting (GM) in Minsk, Belarus. As always, workshops, seminars and conferences, mentoring and training, preparation for the next GM were on the agenda.
“L’union fait la force” or “unity makes strength” in English is the national motto of Belgium and Bulgaria and appears on the coat of arms of several countries and regions around the world.
The Affiliate Forum has been part of the IEC General Meeting (GM) agenda since 2009 and is a great opportunity for Affiliate delegations to meet, exchange views, share experiences and discuss common challenges and best practices, both at the global and regional levels.
The past 12 months were a busy period for the Affiliate Secretariat team. Workshops and conferences, mentoring and training were on the agenda. The Programme also welcomed its new Leader in January.
IEC Affiliate Country Programme Executive Secretary Françoise Rauser usually combines the IEC GM (General Meeting) with a visit to a neighbouring country participating in the programme. This year, following the GM in Tokyo, Japan, she flew to Mongolia, accompanied by IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre) Regional Director Dennis Chew.
The theme of this year’s Workshop for Industrializing Countries was "Challenges to Ensure Safety of Electronic Equipment". Held during the IEC General Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, the meeting aimed to facilitate the sharing of experiences and help highlight solutions to a particularly pertinent issue for developing countries.
The Affiliate Forum has been part of the IEC GM (General Meeting) agenda since 2009 and is a great opportunity for Affiliate delegations to meet, exchange views, share experiences and discuss common challenges and best practices, both at the global and regional levels.
Addressing Council for the first time as IEC President, Junji Nomura expressed his pleasure at doing so in his home country, Japan. Satisfied with the state of the organization which he described as ‘strong and healthy’ with a ‘truly global reach’, he nonetheless emphasized the need for the IEC to continue to improve its services while keeping up with the fast-changing global market.
The past 15 years have seen the extraordinary growth of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector. The emergence of mobile devices, and their immediate success in markets worldwide, has provided an additional boost to a sector that was already expanding rapidly.
Standardization and conformity assessment are complementary. While it is essential that products and systems comply with standards, this compliance has then to be verified and certified. This may be a given in industrialized countries; it is less obvious for developing and industrializing countries.