GOST R celebrates 95th anniversary and World Standards Day with ‘Protecting the planet with standards’ forum

World Standards Day is celebrated each year on 14 October, and this year Russia’s National Standards Body (GOST R) had more reason to celebrate as the day coincided with its 95th anniversary.

To mark the occasion GOST R hosted a virtual and in-person forum in St. Petersburg, which ran across Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 October.  The forum’s main event was a panel that reflected this year’s World Standards Day theme: Protecting the planet with standards.

GOST R’s Vice CEO Anton Shalaev moderated the panel which featured several speakers from PASC (Russia, Canada, Singapore and Australia). The full list of panelists included:

  • Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary-General
  • Philip Metzger, IEC General Secretary and CEO
  • Chantal Guay, SCC CEO and PASC EC Chair
  • Christoph Winterhalter, DIN Executive Board Chairman and CEN Administrative Board Policy Vice-President
  • Saw Kook Choy, Enterprise Singapore Director General (Quality and Excellence)
  • Adrian O’Connell, Standards Australia CEO
  • Boris Alyoshin, Academician of Russian Academy of Science and former ISO President
  • Alexey Abramov, GOST R Director
  • Nilse Andreas Masvie, DNV GL Oil & Gas Vice President Eurasia

Mr. Shalaev asked the panelists several questions; what are the lessons learned in 2020 on how standards can protect the planet on the international, regional, national, and industry-specific levels; has the current state of standardization proved to be ready for challenges; is it ready to protect the planet with standards in response to future challenges; and what are these future challenges?

Mr. Sergio Mujica pointed out that despite the limitations that come with having online forums it does enable more experts to participate which is extremely important for developing countries.

Mr. Philip Metzger highlighted important guidelines around cooperation, broad association, virtualization, and national and international support for the work of IEC under new circumstances.

“We have seen in the case of ISO and IEC how rapidly organizations are able to transform their work mode while increasing their efficiency,” Mr. Shalaev said.

Dr. Boris Aloysinh said one of the most important ways to support economies is by sharing and applying standards to protect the environment.

“No matter which country we live in we should unite our efforts on numerous and various issues. The more standard decisions we make the easier we will effect economies with different levels of development.”

The significant role of IT technology standards has turned out to be one of the most tangible this year.

According to Mr. Christoph Winterhalter, governments, businesses, and society should trust new technologies that have high potential for replication.  He said it is the mission of standards to create conditions for confidence and to instruct people on how to apply new technologies.

Mr. Adrian O’Connell pointed to the great potential of standardization in the fast-changing social, technological, and business environment.

Ms. Chantal Guay brought attention to concerns about climate change. She said climate change would be more serious than the pandemic if certain measures aren’t undertaken.

The forum hosted 16 sessions and roundtable discussions. Presentations and photos from the forum are available here.