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Standards and regulatory cooperation for the SDGs


The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) invited its members as well as representatives of various standards bodies - such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission – along with NGOs and academia to the Palais des Nations in Geneva to explore the role of standards in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during an international conference on 28-29 November 2017. The UNECE Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6) acts as a convening platform to support partnerships among standards bodies and promote the role of standards for the achievement of SDGs.

Many of the standards bodies present, both private and public, informed the conference of their efforts to align their activities and standards with individual SDGs and plan to measure their respective contributions. In this context, ISO announced its commitment to continue the conversation with standards bodies around the world and hold a follow-up event on standards for SDGs at the margins of its next General Assembly (26-28 September 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland).

Credible standards are key tools for achieving the SDGs, but they need to continue to be adapted for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and innovate in order to deliver positive impact. - Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance

The Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CCEXEC74) also recognized the multiple linkages between the work of Codex and SDGs and highlighted the importance of how Codex work can support countries in their implementation efforts with respect to those Goals directly related to food safety and fair practices in trade (i.e. SDGs 2, 3, 12 and 17).

The SDGs will be taken into account in the formulation of the new Strategic Plan of the Codex Alimentarius Commission 2020-2025, which is currently being developed.

The Secretariat of the Codex Alimentarius Commission will continue to monitor discussions within the standard-setting community on activities related to the shared SDGs to ensure members are informed and kept up-to-date.

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