Responding to the challenges of globalization, trade and sustainable development, twelve international organizations together forming INetQI (the International Network of Quality Infrastructure) met in Geneva on 30 November 2018 to enhance their cooperation in promoting the understanding, value and acceptance of the quality infrastructure and providing guidance and support for its effective implementation and integration worldwide.
The definition of quality infrastructure system agreed by the INetQI is:
The system comprising the organizations (public and private) together with the policies, relevant legal and regulatory framework, and practices needed to support and enhance the quality, safety and environmental soundness of goods, services and processes.
The definition expands its scope of action to globally promote the acceptance of quality infrastructure and is expected to create additional benefits for stakeholders including its use as a foundation for sustainable development.
Quality infrastructure is required for the effective operation of domestic markets, and its international recognition is important to facilitate access to foreign markets. It relies on metrology, standardization, accreditation, conformity assessment, and market surveillance.
Past estimates by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) demonstrate that standards and related conformity assessment have an impact on 80% of the world's trade in commodities. Furthermore, quality infrastructure is a key enabler for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): it is essential to protect the planet, ensure dignified lives for all people and achieve inclusive economic growth and prosperity.
In the past years, the INetQI has collaborated in providing technical quality infrastructure training programmes and in the development of diverse publications and guidance documents. In the framework of the network, a set of three documents were developed to support developing countries in the formulation of quality policies: guiding principles, technical guide and practical tool. INetQI is also committed to support developing countries in ensuring the traceability of measurements of their quality infrastructure to international standards.
The following twelve international organizations participate in INetQI:
- International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM)
- International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- International Laboratory Accreditation Forum (ILAC)
- International Standards Organization (ISO)
- International Trade Centre (ITC)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- International Organizations of Legal Metrology (OIML)
- United Nations Economic Cooperation for Europe (UNECE)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- World Bank Group (WBG)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)