Standards and the Citizen: Contributing to Society
15 August 2007
Standards New Zealand, as New Zealand’s international Standards body is pleased to announce the theme for World Standards Day 2007 - Standards and the Citizen: Contributing to Society. Held on 14 October each year World Standards Day recognises the collaborative efforts of the thousands of volunteers worldwide that develop Standards.
This year’s topic recognises the global village brings a broad range of rights and obligations to its citizens. These include rights to safety, security, health and access to information. Obligations include protecting the environment and respecting the safety, property and privacy of others. Standards help citizens to exercise these rights and obligations. They do this, for example, by providing consumers with information and protection, by ensuring the quality and safety of products and services, by defining requirements or giving guidance related to the environment and other issues important to citizens including societal equity, health, security, information and communication, and fair trade.
A world without standards would soon grind to a halt. Transport and trade would seize up. The Internet would simply not function. Hundreds of thousands of systems dependent on information and communication technologies would falter or fail — from government and banking to healthcare, air traffic control, emergency services, disaster relief and even international diplomacy. So many aspects of the modern world are heavily dependent on standards.
The work of IEC, ISO and ITU in developing international standards opens up markets but also brings environmental protection, safety, security, health and access to information and knowledge. Increasingly international standards are helping to break down the barriers between rich and poor nations. Standardization helps provide higher quality at lower costs by ensuring that competition exists between vendors. It makes it easier for consumers to make an informed choice about equipment or services that they buy.
For more information on World Standards Day 2007.