G7 summit

Building back better with ISO standards.

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Beating COVID-19 and building back better was the pledge from the recent G7 summit. In a post-meeting communiqué, G7 leaders called for the use of common standards, best practices and guidelines and encouraged collaboration with ISO to help build a better future.

They also asserted the importance of standards in line with their values and affirmed their support for “industry-led, inclusive multi-stakeholder approaches to standards setting”, committing to strengthen their coordination “including by consulting with industry, with regards to engagement with, and appointments to, standards developing organizations”.

The G7 summit, where the world’s seven most influential economies (UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, plus the EU) are brought together for discussions to advance global issues, was held last weekend from 11-13 June.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the European Council Charles Michel, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Standards were cited on several occasions as an important tool to help progress many issues. The leaders stated their commitment to better share information and best practice, “including between our national standards bodies [to promote] enhanced capacity building and support for multi-stakeholder participation in standards setting”.

When it comes to outer space, the group recognized the importance of common standards related to space operations and incited nations to work together through international groups such as ISO “to preserve the space environment for future generations”.

ISO technical committee ISO/TC 20, Aircraft and space vehicles, has developed many International Standards that are used in thousands of human and robotic missions by space agencies around the world, including NASA and the European Space Agency.

The G7 leaders also affirmed their commitment to free and fair trade, for which International Standards play a vital role, by removing technical barriers and providing a common, international language.

Referencing ISO standards in regulation is consistent with obligations of the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, which aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.

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