Let’s ensure we realize the true value of standards

Seizo Onoe
Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

Seizo Onoe, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU
Seizo Onoe, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

To overcome the challenges facing humanity, we need to take global action. One way to achieve this is by committing to inclusive standardization processes.

Each year on World Standards Day, we pay tribute to the many thousands of experts who work together year-round to develop international standards.

Technical standards support innovation at scale, as cost-effectively as possible. They bring down costs for industry players and prices for consumers.

They establish the essential technical foundations for new industries to grow and for established industries to keep moving forward. Widely recognized standards also help us to replicate successes around the world, strengthening sustainable development and enabling companies to reach global markets.

Ultimately, standards create the confidence to continue investing in our digital future.

But their value is determined largely by how widely they are used. Achieving their true value, therefore, is up to every one of us.

Only inclusive standards achieve global impact and help everyone benefit from the latest advances in technology. This means the standardization process should be influenced by everyone affected.

The challenges facing humanity today are of a scale that demands bold, decisive action. If you are active in any aspect of digital technologies, I urge you to demonstrate your commitment and contribute to international standards development.

Together, we can maximize the value of standards and drive progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Comprehensive support for innovation

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – as partners in the World Standards Cooperation – draw great strength from our mutual commitment to cooperation, and this cooperation is growing in importance.

As the leading developers of international standards, we must deliver comprehensive solutions for our complex, interconnected world. We are uniquely positioned to foster a collaborative spirit, both among standards developers and with the growing range of standardization stakeholders.

Today, our standards need to meet the requirements of a diverse and expanding range of industries. We also continue to strengthen our cooperation in the service of all communities worldwide.

ITU standards now support digital transformation in areas from energy and transportation to healthcare, financial services, and agriculture, as well as for the drive towards smart, sustainable cities and communities. In those areas and more, our work is helping everyone capitalize on advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Achieving the SDGs will demand coordinated innovation and cohesive supporting standards. That’s why ITU is so invested in bringing together experts from different sectors, as well as regulatory authorities with converging responsibilities. Our standardization platform must continue growing in value, for growing numbers of developers and users.

IEC, ISO and ITU are striving to bring more attention to the value of international standards as tools to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

We will again bring this message to the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, COP28.

In the years ahead, we must support everyone working to achieve net-zero emissions, renewable and low-carbon energy, and resource-efficient circular economies. Our trusted standardization platform gives rise to trusted outcomes.

The spirit of collaboration and consensus that drives our work is exactly the spirit needed to achieve a sustainable future. Committing to inclusive standardization can place everyone in a stronger position to achieve their ambitions for sustainable development.

Our global community

All of you – whether in government, industry, research institutes, or other organizations – can drive ITU’s work with your contributions and consensus decisions.

Open platforms such as ITU Focus Groups help determine the way forward, while membership-driven ITU Study Groups develop the international standards enable everyone to move forward together. Key support also comes through collaborative frameworks like AI for GoodUnited for Smart Sustainable Cities, the Digital Currency Global Initiative, and the Global Initiative on AI for Health.

At ITU, we actively support developing countries that seek to engage in our work and maximize the benefits they draw from international standards. We also offer reduced membership fees for academia, start-ups, and small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as for companies of all sizes in developing countries.

Our standardization process ensures that all participants’ voices are heard, and I urge you to make your own voice known.

We welcome you to join us.

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