ISO is empowering developing countries to effectively do their part in the fight for social and economic sustainability. Efforts underway will get a boost from the recent USD 3.6 million grant agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica met with high-profile Swedish government officials in Geneva in October 2021 to discuss how International Standards support sustainable development, including climate change and world trade. Particular emphasis was given to the London Declaration as a means for ISO members to commit more fully to the climate agenda through the use of standards.
The informal meeting allowed the ISO Secretary-General to express his heartfelt thanks to Anna Jardfelt, Ambassador of Sweden to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, for the new agreement with Sida. “The funding will allow ISO to continue investing in building the capacity of our members. Our sincere thanks to Sida for making this possible and for their continued support.”
Ambassador Jardfelt highlighted the importance of truly global standards: “In order to truly achieve global standards, having a broad participation is essential. Sweden is therefore very pleased to be able to work with ISO to help developing countries take an active part in forming and using International Standards.”
Sida’s collaboration with ISO means that much-needed resources will enable developing countries to participate more fully in the international standardization system and realize the benefits of using ISO standards to address social, economic and environmental challenges. It is a significant contribution to the international standards community being able to “build back better” following the global socio-economic disruptions brought about by COVID-19, which continues to disproportionally affect developing countries.
The Sida agreement will also enable ISO, in synergy with the Swedish agency, to make great strides in contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals during the Decade of Action by leveraging the power of ISO standards for developing countries.
Sida is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. With just under half of the agency’s total support going towards multilateral cooperation, Sida contributes to a positive development for people living in poverty. Sweden’s priority thematic areas are democracy, human rights, environment and climate, as well as gender equality and the role of women in development.