Message from the ANSI President and CEO

On behalf of the members, staff, and Board of Directors of the American National Standards Institute, I would like to welcome you to the 35th ISO General Assembly, and invite you to explore this website, which outlines our plans for the GA and offers useful information and guidance for all delegates.

As the U.S. member body and a founding member of ISO, ANSI is proud to be hosting this year’s GA in San Diego, California. ANSI is one of the most active ISO member bodies because we know that standards and conformance are critical to addressing the technological, economic, and societal challenges that we all face globally. At the ISO GA 2012, we look forward to reaffirming the U.S. commitment to international standardization, and to celebrating international standards as a global solution.

Although our time in San Diego will be brief, there is a great deal to accomplish over this seven-day period. We have invited more than 600 delegates from 163 ISO member countries and other international or regional organizations to join us, making for a highly interactive and diverse GA that is focused on dialogue and action.

San Diego is an exciting, walkable, and easily accessible city. Of course, the scenic natural beauty of Southern California is all around you. I hope you take time to enjoy the rich variety of sights and activities the region affords.

Many thanks to the numerous sponsors of the 35th ISO General Assembly; I know they join me and the ANSI officers, membership, and staff in welcoming you to the United States.  I look forward to seeing you in San Diego for a most productive and enjoyable week!

S. Joe Bhatia
President and CEO, American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Message from the ISO President

This will be the third time that ANSI has hosted an ISO General Assembly, having previously welcomed the ISO family in 1952 and 1973. As the United States is also a founding member of ISO, I can only conclude that not only are they active participants in the work of ISO, they are also very gracious and generous hosts!

When ISO was incorporated in 1947, there were 26 members. Today, the ISO family is made up of the national standards bodies of 163 countries, including industrialized, developing, and transitional economies, from all regions of the world. This General Assembly is an opportunity for this larger family to get together.

As the U.S. member of ISO, ANSI nominated the very first president of ISO, Howard Coonley, and he was followed over the years by three more presidents from the U.S. – Francis L. LaQue, John Hinds, and Oliver Smoot. In addition, two vice-presidents, George F. Hussey and George Arnold, Ph.D., have come from ANSI, as well as a secretary-general, Laurence D. Eicher, Ph.D.

I would like to thank ANSI for inviting us once again, and pay tribute to the many contributions of major proportions ANSI has made to ISO which have helped to ensure that the ISO family is thriving today. In fact, ANSI is one of the six largest contributors to the operations of ISO.

Our hosts have consistently shown their willingness to participate in new ISO ventures. A striking example is ANSI’s co-leadership (with ABNT, of Brazil) of the project committee that has since become ISO/TC 242, Energy management, responsible for the development of ISO 50001, which was launched in June 2011. An article in the April 2012 edition of ISO Focus+ magazine described ISO 50001 as “on fire”, referring to the rapid take-up of the standard by users in both the public and private sectors around the world.

ISO 50001, in its holistic, management system approach to meeting the energy challenge, is at once an innovative standard and an important contribution to sustainability. These themes – innovation and sustainability – have been appropriately chosen as the subject of the open session at this year’s General Assembly, so we can look forward to some stimulating contributions from our host nation and other ISO member countries.

Dr. Boris Aleshin
President, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

About the Host

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private-sector, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system.

The Institute was founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies that recognized the need for a single, neutral body that could bring together and coordinate the standardization efforts of diverse interests, sectors, and standards development organizations.

ANSI membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. As such, the Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

About ISO

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 163 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.

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