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UN/CEFACT and OASIS cooperate to strengthen work on ebXML

Published: 10 May 2004

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) today announces that the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)1 reaffirm their commitment to cooperating on ebXML. They plan on entering into an agreement at both the strategic and tactical levels, which will ensure that each party endeavours to maintain clarity in its work programme and effective communications with a view to avoiding duplication of effort - subject to the rules of each organization and consistent with the objectives of the IEC/ISO/ITU/UNECE2 Memorandum of Understanding on e-Business.

In a joint statement, UN/CEFACT and OASIS stress that the proposed cooperation agreement should improve understanding and clarify the public perception of how the two entities work together. Ms. Cosgrove-Sacks, Director of the Trade Development and Timber Division, says that the decision to enter into this kind of agreement at the strategic and tactical levels “shows that the cooperation is now entering a mature phase, and also that UNECE is looking forward to expanding its cooperation in ebXML as well as in other areas”.

Both parties intend by this undertaking to demonstrate their commitment to ebXML and its communities of developers and users. "There is much more to be done," agreed Mr. Christian Frühwald, Chairman of UN/CEFACT. "Members from both UN/CEFACT and OASIS are focused now on articulating how ebXML meets actual business needs and where it fits in a service-oriented architecture. By continuing our efforts with OASIS, UN/CEFACT looks forward to advancing domestic and international electronic trade – with widespread ebXML deployment as our common goal".

"Our work is just beginning," says Mr. Patrick Gannon, President and Chief Executive Officer of OASIS. "Although it stands as a tremendous accomplishment, the original collaboration between OASIS and UN/CEFACT that created ebXML - an initiative that involved thousands of participants from around the world - was just the first step. The greater challenge lies ahead. The task before us now is to advance deployment of ebXML and work towards harmonization with emerging technology standards. UN/CEFACT's longstanding strengths in trade facilitation and e-business will be a key factor in this”.

Looking at the broader picture, Ms. Cosgrove-Sacks says that UNECE values the proposed submission by UN/CEFACT of Part 8 of the ebXML Framework ‘Core Components Technical Specifications’ to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as well as the recently ratified four ebXML OASIS Standards as ISO Technical Specifications. “This underscores the long-standing partnership between UNECE and ISO in the MoU on electronic business. It shows that the international community recognizes the importance of ebXML as an enabler of electronic business. UNECE applauds the developers of ebXML in both UN/CEFACT and OASIS for contributing to open trade data interchange and harmonization”.

For further information please contact:

Jean Kubler

Chief a.i, Global Trade Solutions Branch

Trade Development and Timber Division

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Palais des Nations, Room 446

CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 27 74

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 06 29

E-mail: jean.kubler@unece.org

1 OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. The consortium produces more Web services standards than any other organization along with standards for security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 3,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Approved OASIS Standards include CAP, DocBook, DSML, ebXML, SAML, SPML, UDDI, WSRP, WSS, XACML, and XCBF. www.oasis-open.org

2 International Electrotechnical Commission/ International Organization for Standardization/ International Telecommunication Union/ United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Ref: ECE/TRADE/04/P04

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05