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Subject: UN/CEFACT and OASIS cooperate to strengthen work on ebXML

UN/CEFACT and OASIS cooperate to strengthen work on ebXML

Geneva, 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
        Web site: http://www.unece.org/cefact/


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. http://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



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