VIENNA, 30 June 2017 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) hosted the annual meeting of the Network on Metrology, Accreditation and Standardization for Developing Countries (DCMAS).*
The meeting focused on quality infrastructure as a pillar supporting competitiveness, trade and sustainable development. Standards, metrology, conformity assessment services and accreditation are instrumental to achieving the SDGs.
The key outcome of the meeting was the adoption of a common definition of “quality infrastructure (QI)”.
This definition endorsed by DCMAS, a leading QI institution, will, according to Ian Dunmill, DCMAS Chair, “provide coherence and structure to the technical assistance offered to developing countries”.
The DCMAS event was followed by an expert group meeting on quality policy development which brought together key experts in the field of quality infrastructure, including the DCMAS network, the World Bank, the British Standards Institution, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The experts agreed on the five key dimensions of quality policy development (coherence, optimization, governance, inclusiveness and sustainability) and proposed a set of guiding principles for the formulation and implementation of quality policy.
“The set of underlying experience-based guiding principles allows each country to adapt and tailor them for its specific needs. They also help countries to develop their quality policies and infrastructures to best address their needs at a particular stage of their development,” said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Director of Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation.
UNIDO will devise a guidebook for quality policy development based on the outcomes of the meetings. The DCMAS event and the expert group meeting were funded by the Government of Finland.
The definition of QI adopted at the event:
“The system comprising the organizations (public and private) together with the policies, relevant legal and regulatory framework, and practices needed to support and enhance the quality, safety and environmental soundness of goods, services and processes.
The quality infrastructure is required for the effective operation of domestic markets, and its international recognition is important to enable access to foreign markets. It is a critical element in promoting and sustaining economic development, as well as environmental and social wellbeing.
It relies on: metrology, standardization, accreditation, conformity assessment, and market surveillance.”
*The following members of the Network met in Vienna: International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), International Accreditation Forum (IAF), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Laboratory Accreditation Forum (ILAC), International Standards Organization (ISO), International Trade Centre (ITC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Organizations of Legal Metrology (OIML), United Nations Economic Cooperation for Europe (UNECE) and UNIDO; as well as, the World Bank.
For more information, contact:
Director of Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation