Since its launch in 2001, the IEC Affiliate Country Programme (ACP) has enabled numerous developing and newly industrialized countries to join the global standardization and conformity assessment community.
A key representative for the Programme on a number of IEC governing boards, the IEC Affiliate Leader serves as the collective voice for affiliate countries. Since 1 January 2021, this role has been filled by Battsengel Gurragchaa.
Gurragchaa is the Head of Standardization and Conformity Assessment Policy Department at the Mongolian Agency for Standardization and Metrology (MASM). In the below interview, she provides insight about her objectives as Affiliate Leader, the UN SDGs and how Mongolia has benefited from the ACP.
What are your objectives as Affiliate Leader?
Depending on the region, culture and/or development level, affiliate countries face varying challenges to participate in IEC work.
As IEC Affiliate Country Leader, I plan to identify our greatest challenges in consultation with the Affiliates and collaborate with the IEC ACP Secretariat to help the affiliate countries extract full benefit from the programme.
Last March, the ACP secretariat conducted a survey to seek feedback on the utilization of the Programme, its benefits and relevance, as well as to assess the needs of the affiliate countries on training and capacity-building activities. [Ed: Read blog post about survey results]
How can standardization help to achieve the UN SDGs?
Sustainable development is an issue not only for countries, but also for international and regional organizations. With 84 affiliate countries, the ACP represents nearly half of the IEC community.
In my opinion, the IEC should develop an IEC SDG leadership programme. In affiliate countries, the Presidents and Secretaries of the NECs are IEC ambassadors for their country and can convey the role of the IEC in helping to achieve the SDGs through the wide use of its standards with support from e-learning and training courses. Affiliate countries need to develop a plan to use standards to support the achievement of the SDGs for our future.
What have been the benefits to your country through its participation in the IEC Affiliate Country Programme?
Since 2015, Mongolia has established its National Electrotechnical Committee (NEC) and I have been involved as NEC Secretary. Through the ACP, the NEC and our stakeholder representatives have been able to access and adopt IEC Standards, participate in IEC general meetings and learn about the benefits of standardization and conformity assessment.
The establishment of the NEC has improved stakeholder cooperation since it provides an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss and consult under one roof. We have also participated in webinars organized by the IEC Academy and web meetings facilitated by the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (IEC APRC). This support has enabled us to raise the awareness of the NEC, which is essential for engaging stakeholders.
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