To mark World Standards Day on October 14, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) hosted a webinar to showcase the country’s advanced capabilities in quality infrastructure, and awareness of the important role standards play in industrial and sustainable development.
The webinar was attended by local and international officials and experts, and was convened in line with the Ministry’s mission to upgrade the UAE’s quality infrastructure and achieve its sustainable development commitments.
The virtual event witnessed the participation of His Excellency Omar Suwaina Al-Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, Eddy Njoroge, President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Farah Ali Al Zarouni, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Standards and Legislation Sector in the Ministry, Dr. Ralph Sporer, Vice President of the International Electrotechnical Organization (IEC), Dr. Scott Steedman, Executive Director of the British Standards Institutions (BSI), Dr. Oday Albuhamad, Director of Standards and Metrology, Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), and a number of other experts and specialists from around the world.
His Excellency Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, noted that the theme of this year’s World Standards Day – “Shared Vision for a Better World” – aligns with the UAE’s sustainability efforts and the nation’s ambition to become a global leader in all areas of sustainable development by 2071. The UAE Government is committed to applying thousands of international standards related to sustainability and has also issued multiple UAE standards in the fields of agriculture, energy, water, transportation, environment and hydrogen – that have been developed to support the UAE’s aim in achieving the sustainable development goals.
Al Suwaidi said: “The development of standards serves the UAE’s Projects of the 50 in that they support our desire to incorporate innovation and advanced technology into our industrial sector. Standards are vital in order to increase the quality of products and services in the market as well as find dynamic solutions to global challenges. We are fully focused on nurturing the technologies of the future to stimulate growth, develop new industrial sectors and provide the optimum platform for experts, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.”
Al Suwaidi added: “Through standards, the UAE’s industrial sector becomes more capable of competing globally as we seek to become a global industrial hub and a leading destination for future industries, in line with the objectives of Operation 300bn, the national strategy for industry and advanced technology.”
Al Suwaidi added: “The adoption of advanced technology and 4IR solutions also helps us to achieve tangible progress in the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, especially the ninth goal that focuses on industry, innovation and infrastructure.”
He pointed out that standards provide a practical framework for emerging industries, helping enterprises better manage problems and risks, anticipate consumer demand and secure access to necessary resources, all of which leads to sustainable and comprehensive development.
From his side, Eddy Njoroge, President of the International Organization for Standardization, highlighted UAE's pioneering experience in developing and complying with standards. He pointed out that the country has become a role model in the quality infrastructure, a fact that was demonstrated during its successful efforts to the mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Njoroge added: “Governments, businesses and organizations have all been put under unexpected pressure. I am impressed by the way that ISO members like the United Arab Emirates have put into practice a more flexible, more adaptable way of working, maintaining their commitments to international standards development and continuing to support their stakeholders in benefitting from standards.”
He made a clear link between standards and the international effort to meet the UN’s SDGs, and highlighted the mapping tool they have developed that identifies the standards that give direct support to a specific SDG. “Every SDG is a call for action, but we can only get there if we work together. International standards offer practical solutions that we can all stand behind. Our plan of action, pursued through standards, channels the contributions and energy of all elements of society, including local and national governments, business, industry and individuals.”
Njoroge concluded by saying: “On World Standards Day, the world needs a message of hope to mitigate the challenges of COVID-19 and to adhere to the 2030 deadline set for implementing the SDGs. We are calling on everyone to join together to build a better world that respects international standards, safety and security for all.”
During a presentation on the role of standards in overcoming industrial challenges in the post Covid-19 era, Farah Ali Al Zarouni, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Standards and Legislation Sector in the Ministry, stressed that standards contribute to a sustainable industrial sector, which in turn supports the national economy by meeting the requirements of quality, safety and long-term, responsible growth, especially in priority industries.
She added: “Standards enhance investor and consumer confidence by creating an environment that supports product quality. They also help remove technical obstacles to the trading of products, and they serve a particularly important role in helping SMEs in the UAE to facilitate the entry of their products into global markets.”
Al Zarouni pointed out that standards are a global communication language and act as a technical framework that can enable the country to achieve its goals in vital new industries such as clean energy. She explained that sustainability is one of the goals of Fourth Industrial Revolution, noting that the celebration of World Standards Day coincides with the UAE's hosting of the Expo 2020 Dubai, which focuses on innovation and sustainable development from around the world.
The UAE has focused on the following goals: industry, innovation and infrastructure; green and affordable energy; and sustainable cities and communities, all of which are linked to the quality infrastructure that is supervised by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in cooperation with its strategic partners in the public and the private sector.
Source: APCO Worldwide