Address to the Nation by Minister Hippolyte World Standards Day, 14 October 2013
The necessity for change becomes abruptly needed when the answers from current problems don't provide adequate solutions.
Saint Lucia joins members of the International Community, in celebrating World Standards day which is celebrated annually on the 14th of October.
The theme for this year focuses on how International Standards ensure Positive Change.
To better understand how standards assist in effecting positive change, we must appreciate the importance of standards as a tool for providing adequate solutions.
International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services, making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade.
International Standards also contribute effectively to sustainability, by providing good practices on the use of technologies and the management of processes affecting economic, social and environmental aspects.
Standards have caused positive change in Saint Lucia as we see the opening up of global markets to Saint Lucia products and services, the creation of an enabling business environment and the mitigation and adaptation to phenomena such as Climate change.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards continues to play a pivotal role in our countries quality infrastructure as the standards and metrology institute providing standardization services in the interest of the public, as they bring together experts in industry to create standards that provide businesses, government and society with a platform for positive change.
The use of standards continue to ensure that our products and services are of good quality, safe and accessible thus increasing market access and market share and at the same time providing greater choice to consumers.
Being part of a global community, the Government of Saint Lucia is signatory to trade agreements which imply that our goods and services are subject to International Standards, as such we need to be able to define requirements in the form of standards, which in turn allow our products and services to be readily accepted in international markets. The work of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in association with ISO, IEC and ITU contribute to the development of international standards to ensure that positive change.
Saint Lucia currently works on international technical committees working on the development of standards for Tourism, Occupational Health and Safety and Management Consultancy Services.
All towards ensuring that Saint Lucia is at the forefront in effecting positive change by opening up markets for Saint Lucian products and services, as well as providing environmental protection, safety, security, health and access to information for Saint Lucians.
I would like to encourage the private and public sectors that we confront the pressures of change head on. Denying current or coming change can be harmful to the productivity of any business. With accelerating rates of invention, changes in demographic dynamics and technologies, companies must be willing to implement standards so that they can transform. In facing these fast-paced corporate trends, businesses should attempt to hit change like a bulls-eye, understanding the depth and range of change that standards can have.
During the month of October for World Standards Day the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards will highlight some key standards that can profoundly impact on products and services in Saint Lucia, such as the recently adopted Code of Practice for the Beauty and Wellness Sector. This standard looks to ensure that businesses such as spas, hair salons, tattoo parlors and barber shops implement measures to ensure quality and safety for consumers. With the adoption of this new standard the Bureau will also provide certification services to the sector. Certification of businesses ensure competitiveness showing consumers that your business provides a quality service.
The government recognises that the principles underlying international standardization are today more relevant than ever as a key cornerstone in our national efforts aimed at increasing global competitiveness. We will continue to work through the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards to ensure positive change across all sectors by removing barriers to communication and cooperation, and working with the regional and international Standards bodies such as the Caricom Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), International Electro technical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standards (ISO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the development of standards that share knowledge among all the world’s countries and so provide building blocks for global prosperity.
I take this opportunity here to applaud the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in its continued efforts to strengthen the national quality infrastructure.
I also urge all St. Lucians to pledge their commitment to standards and quality in every aspect of their lives and to join the rest of the world in promoting standards and a quality conscious society, to ensure positive change at all levels.
I thank you.