The Covid-19 pandemic is confronting each of us with unprecedented challenges. Every country is experiencing its negative impact on their healthcare systems, economy and the society as a whole. It is disrupting global trade, food supply chains and having serious, unintended consequences on industry, manufacturing, tourism, and travel. For African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries and their enterprises, the economic competitiveness will be severely affected not only in the domestic but also at regional and international level.
The fight to contain the virus and slow down its spread is one that is global, and calls for solidarity and a re-orientation of priorities amongst governments, institutions, manufacturers, donors, civil society organizations and individuals. Countries on a national level have started to implement action plans to facilitate combatting the issues arising from Covid-19 in the areas of quality infrastructure, innovation, investment and trade. Nevertheless, given the widespread impact of Covid-19 that goes beyond national and regional borders, there is an urgent need for collective regional standards and conformity assessment approaches for sustainability that complements national measures implemented.
This panel will therefore focus on discussing what can be done on a regional level in the standards and conformity assessment areas to minimize the effects of the pandemic both during the crisis and post-crisis and how these measures link to national quality infrastructure activities.