Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/308
    4 December 2008

    Re-issued as received

    New Cooperation Agreement on Metrology to Combat Technical Barriers to Trade and Spur Economic Growth

    VIENNA, 4 December (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Bureau of Weights and Measure (BIPM), and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) agreed to establish a strategic partnership on metrology. The aim of the partnership is to enhance the impact of industrial development on economic growth and to minimize technical barriers to trade (TBT) which are still a major obstacle to exports from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

    The agreement, which is effective immediately, was signed by UNIDO's Director-General, Kandeh Yumkella, BIPM Director Andrew J. Wallard, representing OIML, and the President of the International Committee of Legal Metrology (CIML), Alan Johnston. The new partners agreed to join forces to assist the focus countries integrate more beneficially into the global economy. During the signature event, concrete technical areas of cooperation were discussed. These areas - such as the establishment of training guides to assist developing countries overcome metrology, and legal metrology issues at the laboratory level - will provide the springboard to launch the cooperation.

    With this agreement, UNIDO is partnering with two major global players in the field of metrology and legal metrology who are crucial to successfully build capacity in standards and conformity, as well as compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The new agreement will not only reinforce UNIDO's ability to deliver Trade Capacity Building technical assistance, but also help further UNIDO's position as a key agency for the implementation of projects related to TBT and SPS issues and standards and conformity capacity building.

    The BIPM - a principal player in the area of scientific metrology - is an intergovernmental organization with the mandate of providing the basis for a single, coherent system of measurements throughout the world, traceable to the International System of Units (SI). The Bureau is a principal player in the area of scientific metrology and conducts measurement-related research. The intergovernmental treaty organization, OIML, promotes the global harmonization of legal metrology legislation and conformity assessment procedures. The Organization has developed a worldwide technical structure that provides its members with metrological guidelines for the development of national and regional requirements concerning the assessment and use of measuring instruments in legal metrology applications.

    UNIDO has significant experience and a large portfolio of ongoing projects in the area of standards, metrology, testing, certification and accreditation. As such, UNIDO is a privileged partner of key international standards and conformity organizations such as the International Standards Organization (ISO), the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

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    UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 172 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. See also www.unido.org

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    For more information please contact:

    Lalith Goonatilake
    Director, Trade Capacity Building Branch
    Tel.: (+43-1) 26026-3859
    Email: L.Goonatilake@unido.org