World Standards Day
October 14 2013
Theme: “International Standards Ensure Positive Change”

The Belize Bureau of Standards is proud to join with the rest of the international community in observing World Standards Day 2013 an annual event which is October 14. This year it is being celebrated under the theme “International Standards Ensure Positive Change” and like many themes of the past it pays tribute to the efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide that voluntarily collaborate to develop standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate technological advances and develop innovations. In this issue the Bureau extends its gratitude to those professional who are now integrally involved in standards development at the national level. Our article “Working for a Positive Change”, exposes the work of these professionals who are now working towards the development of standards in the various key sectors of the Belizean Economy.

The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy in facilitating trade and to promote its role in helping to meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide. Standards are a fundamental part of economic activity which is becoming imminent for conducting business domestic or international. The establishment of the World Trade Organization has highlighted the importance of international standards within global trade and we must adapt to these established realities.

Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability, at an economical cost. They make the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and acceptable quality. They facilitate trade and provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation.

We tend to take things for granted when products and services meet our expectations and give little thought to the reasons why this is so. However, when we are faced with products that are of poor quality, do not fit or are incompatible with our daily convenience, it is then that we recognize the importance of standards but in most cases we also fail to adapt to the changes. In other words, the importance of standards is emphasized by their absence. What would a world without standards be like? Without them, planes would fall from the sky, food could poison you, ships would sink, telephone and banking cards in many sizes, conflicting safety symbols, no competition in international sports, no access to the disabled, no reliable test methods and results and life as we know it would be chaos.

Therefore, International Standards developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) provide the means by which desirable principles and ICT connectivity are translated into practical application and implemented efficiently and effectively on a global scale for conducting business. The international consensus reached between countries and among stakeholders during the development of these standards encourages their worldwide implementation thus in Belize, the Bureau of Standards ensures that quality and safety isn’t compromised, that national standards are based on international best practices