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ILAC Chair presents at UNECE Forum

On 4 April Etty Feller, ILAC Chair presented at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party 6, Forum 3 on Digitalization of Quality Infrastructure Processes, looking at current trends in the use of technologies in accreditation, and challenges that these may cause.


The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations, and its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. UNECE includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations also take part in UNECE activities.

The Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP6) encourages increased regulatory coherence in specific sectors that have a critical impact on sustainable development and promotes greater resilience to natural and man-made hazards. WP6 also works to:

  • Promote the use of standards by policy-makers and businesses as a tool for reducing technical barriers to trade, promote increased resilience to disasters, foster innovation and good governance;
  • Advocate the use of standards in the implementation of UN-wide goals, including the implementation of the AGENDA 2030 and the Sendai framework for action.

The project has already delivered a paper detailing how standardization and harmonization of regulations are necessary for the transition to a digital, green economy. More information about the WP.6 AI project is available here: https://unece.org/trade/wp6/digital-regulation-goods-artificial-intelligence

The Forum

WP6 hosted its Third Forum from 2 to 5 April 2024 focused on Green Digital Transformation including AI. Digital technologies are opening up new possibilities for economic development, policy implementation and the management of public services. They also offer the potential for an improved management of natural resources and facilitate the shift towards a circular economy by filling information gaps, increasing efficiency and making new forms of economic activity possible, including changes in production and consumption patterns.

The Advisory Group on Market Surveillance (MARS) was established in 2003 to promote global trade and economic cooperation. It actively brings together member States to discuss best practice for countering sub-standard and counterfeit goods. It has developed comprehensive guidance and serves as a forum of best practice and development of recommendation guidelines. Market surveillance is a set of activities by designated authorities to ensure that products comply with mandatory requirements and do not endanger any aspect of public interest. This involves proper calibration of machinery and measurements (metrology) as well as actively engaging with other border control agencies such as customs.

The conference looked at current trends in the use of technologies in quality infrastructure and challenges that this may cause. Market surveillance authorities, conformity assessment bodies, testing laboratories and standards development organizations were invited to attend the conference.


  • Ariel Ivanier, Market Access Section, UNECE Economic Development and Trade Division (Welcome and introduction)
  • Tauno Kangur, UNECE WP.6 (Moderator)

Reducing carbon footprint

  • Chikako Makino, International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
  • Antoine Anney, Solutions to support authorities with Market Surveyance by COTECNA
  • Martin Michelot, Executive Director Europe, TIC Council

Digitalization of quality infrastructure processes

  • Etty Feller, International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)
  • Dorina Nati, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Ian Dunmill, International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)
  • Vera Despotovic, Associate in the Market Inspection Sector to coordinate and improve inter-sectoral cooperation in market surveillance, Serbia

Further information on the work of the UNECE and WP6 is available here