STANDARDS LINK VOL 2- ISSUE 17 - World Standards Day Message

 

 


 

The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards marked the observance of World Standards Day with the annual Minister’s address to the nation on the World Standards Day theme. Honourable Bradley Felix, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs reminded the public of the important role of standards in improving the quality of life of all Saint Lucians.  The following is the text of his address:

"Every year on October 14, the global community marks the observance of World Standards Day. The observance is an opportunity to focus attention on the important role that standards play in our lives as well as a time to appreciate the work of the thousands of experts who develop and promote the use of standards in an effort to create a better world for all of us.     

For the observance of World Standards Day this year, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established the theme, “Standards make Cities Smarter”.  

Since the passage of the Standards Act in 1990, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has focused on the improvement of the quality of life of our people and the advancement of the economy of Saint Lucia through the promotion of standardization, metrology and conformity assessment activities.  

This year’s theme “Standards makes Cities Smarter” is a call to the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards to expand its vision, to move beyond engaging one institution or one sector and begin to coalesce the entire community of stakeholders and beneficiaries in the conversation on the use of standards to improve life in all communities across the nation.  

The theme relates to the usefulness of standards in the organization of our lives - around the issues of the safety of what we consume; our access to innovations in technology; how we prepare and integrate our infrastructure to improve resilience to climate change while and enhancing safety and security. 

John Walter, president-elect of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in a speech delivered at the 2017 Qingdao Forum on International Standardization on June 28, said: “A Smart City might be described as one that dramatically increases the pace at which it improves its sustainability and resilience by fundamentally improving how it engages society, how it applies collaborative leadership methods, how it works across disciplines and city systems, and how it uses data and integrated technologies to transform services and quality of life to those in and involved with the city including residents, businesses and visitors”.


The promises, possibilities and opportunities of smart cities are limited only by the extent of our imagination. It may therefore be expected that a future smart city will contain a series of highly innovative and intelligent technologies that will affect every single aspect of our lives, including housing, transportation, education, healthcare, energy use and efficiency and many more.
 

Maximizing the use and benefits of these innovations will require the strategic and deliberate adoption and application of international standards which should be used to guide policy decisions at the highest levels in society. What is important is that by the use of smart city indicators and best practices, we are able to promote liveable, sustainable and prosperous cities and communities and by extension countries.
For us in Saint Lucia as a small island developing country, the theme is both a challenge and an opportunity. What are the challenges? The constraints of our limited landmass and small population forces us to apply the principles of a smart city to our entire country and use standards to create a country that can respond to challenges of a fast changing world in an integrated manner and not in an isolated political silo.
In terms of opportunities, the effective use of standards have the potential to increase productivity, reduce waste and increase customer satisfaction. In effect, the thorough and persistent application of standards will result in being able to do more with less and that to me is the ultimate measure of being smart.

When we consider the welfare of citizens and how as a government we can deliver on our promises to make lives better, we must place emphasis on the interventions which can help us reach our destination. Trade is an essential element in that regard. The use of international standards in our production processes is one of the measures that must be used to increase exports of both goods and services and by so doing, create new jobs that can address employment and reduce poverty.

So, as we observe World Standards Day and we pay attention to the theme “Standards make Cities Smarter”, we must recognize and appreciate the concept that standards apply to all aspects of our lives and that all our endeavours as individuals and as a community and a country must find its place within a global village. We must therefore recognize the tremendous efforts of the various government agencies and technical experts who strive to ensure the purposeful and continuous application of standards to make life better for us all.

Saint Lucia like the rest of the world is moving quickly into a new phase of human development. For the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population live in cities and the proportion of urban dwellers is projected to account for up to seventy percent of the population by 2050. One only has to look at the development of the Castries – Gros Islet corridor to understand the potential impact of the continuous movement of people. The city has become the defining unit of human habitation. How smartly we build, manage, and operate spaces will be the single biggest determinant of our future.

Finally, any discussion on the city and on standards and their use as a developmental strategy must recognize that both the city and the standards community have one ultimate goal, that is, the continuous improvement in the quality of life of the people of the country.

Success therefore require that standards become and easy path that guides and facilitates innovation. In a technology-intensive future, jobs and GDP growth will be dependent on the steady incubation of new and innovative companies that provide goods and services acceptable on the world market. Our national standards infrastructure must therefore encourage local innovation and industrial development, by partnering with the private sector and by helping young entrepreneurs avoid the old pattern of learning by error wherever possible.
Let me therefore wish you Happy World Standards Day 2017.

I thank you."

 

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