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ISO: open minded for change

Open minded, Open for Change

Foresight activities, attracting new experts, cooperation with other organizations and the Technical Committee of the future are the four key topics ISO and its members will strive to accelerate in the coming years.

Dr Zhang Xiaogang, ISO President

40th ISO General Assembly

Participants from over 130 countries gathered at the General Assembly of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Berlin (Germany) 20-22 September 2017 under the motto “open minded, open for change”. The meeting simultaneously marked the 70th anniversary of ISO and the 100th anniversary of DIN (German Institute for Standardization) - one of ISO’s oldest members and host of this years’ General Assembly. 


ISO week Berlin, Germany

ISO, a long-standing Observer organization of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, is composed of national standards bodies covering 163 countries. Differently from Codex standards, the 21.500 standards developed by ISO are for sale and not only cover the area of food, but all aspects of technology and business.

International cooperation 

The success of International Standards is a good example of the benefits international cooperation can bring.

Brigitte Zypries, German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy

The General Assembly stressed how international cooperation will determine the future success of ISO and declared to initiate, strengthen and expand cooperation with its sister organizations IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) as well as other organizations. ISO intends to optimise coordination of technical work and the development of standards solutions for the digital age to ensure ISO meets current and future needs of stakeholders.

ISO and Codex


ISO and Codex already cooperate closely particularly on methods of analysis. Codex standard (CODEX STAN 234-1999) includes many ISO standards by reference that cna be used for routine examination or control purposes. Codex has also been invited to actively participate in the ongoing revision of ISO 22000 (food safety management system) with regards to the integration of the HACCP principles.   

This year, the Secretariat of the Codex Alimentarius Commission will perform an internal review of its cooperation and collaboration with other international standard setting organizations that hold Codex observer status. This review will include ISO.

Anne Beutling


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