The Arab Standardization and Consumer’s Protection Forum held under the auspices of the First Vice-President, National Prime Minister Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, in collaboration with Arab Industrial Development Organization demanded the involvement of all stakeholders in setting up standards and standardization in aid of the consumer, producer and the state, including both government and private sector.
The forum called upon the media to play a vital role in educating and enlightening consumers on the importance of standardization in coincidence with Arab and World Standardization Day.
The final statement of the forum stressed the need for the introduction of standardization in the education systems and called for coordination among Arab countries in this respect; in addition to improving infrastructure for quality and standards at national levels in favor of consumer protection and safety.
Participants in the forum were agreed to set May 18 as Consumer Protection Day across Arab countries to promote standardization, quality and standards in Arab countries. They also recommended the importance for Arab countries to establish consumer protection observatory body, Arab Consumer Protection Taskforce to operate under the umbrella of the Arab League.
Furthermore, countries lacking standardization and consumer protection bodies were urged to set independent bodies to protect consumers and oversee enforcement of national laws aimed at consumer safety. Arab Free Zone member states were demanded join future forums to ensure the sustainability of the Arab Standardization and Consumer’s Protection Forum to promote the culture of standardization, quality, standards and consumer protection.
Consensus on recommendation
Participants in the forum were unanimous on the importance of recommendations and the role of the Arab League General Secretariat and the Arab Industrial Development and Mining in carrying out the recommendations and enhance communication among all relevant sectors in favor of Arab consumers.
Recognition and acknowledgement
The participants expressed their appreciations and acknowledgment to Sudan under the leadership of President Al Bashir for constantly seeking development in the Arab world. Appreciations were also extended to Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, the First Vice-President, National Prime Minister, for sponsoring the forum and gracing the opening session of the forum; in addition to the efforts of the Arab League General Secretariat to organize such events within the framework of concerted Arab efforts to ensure common welfare, exchange expertise and benefits. The participants also congratulate Sudan – the government and people on the eventual lifting of the US sanctions against the country, wishing the government and the Sudanese all the best and prosperity.
Addressing the opening session and presence
The opening session was started with remarks and speeches by Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, the First Vice-President, National Prime Minister, H.H Prince Ahmed Saad Omar, the Minister of Cabinet, H.E the Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul-Gheit, and Dr. Kamal Hussein Ali. The attendees also included other senior government officials and prominent Arab figures.
Topics of debate at the forum
The forum was focused on the vitality of quality, standards and standardization and the status of consumer protection in the Arab countries. The two-day forum debated 21 papers by experts and specialists on the matter followed by comments and deliberations by participants.
The First Vice-President Saleh during the forum honored Dr. Abdel-Gadir Mohamed Abdel-Gadir Al-Ahl, ex-director of Sudanese Standards and Quality Authority, in acknowledgement and recognition of his dedication to establishing quality standards in Sudan as well as the Arab world, whose contributions were also acknowledged and hailed by Mohamed Awad Sakrab, the present director of Sudan Quality and Standards Authority.
On the sidelines of the Arab standardization and consumer forum, organized by Sudan Standardization authority in collaboration with the Arab League and the Arab Industrial and Mining Development Organization, Bakri Hassan Saleh, the First vice-President, National Prime Minister, launched a series of book on quality and standards dubbed "Hope and Light" published by Sudanese Quality and Standards Authority aimed consumers with special needs, particularly the "blind". The book is the first of its kind in the world to enlighten blind consumers through the application of blind language "Braille"
The Regional Chairman for the International Federation of Consumers in the Middle East Justin McMillon, - for his part – hailed Sudan's efforts to consumer education, describing the book as "wonderful initiative, calling on others to follow suit. Also, the participants in the forum were appreciative of the initiative.
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