International Organization for Standardization

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The International Organization for Standardization (French: Organisation internationale de normalisation, Russian: Международная организация по стандартизации, tr. Mezhdunarodnaya organizaciya po standartizacii),[1] widely known as ISO, is an international-standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary industrial and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.[3] While ISO defines itself as a non-governmental organization, its ability to set standards that often become law, either through treaties or national standards, makes it more powerful than most non-governmental organizations.[citation needed] In practice, ISO acts as a consortium with strong links to governments.[citation needed]


Name and abbreviation

The organization's logos in two of its official languages, English and French, include the word ISO, and it is usually referred to by this short-form name. ISO asserts that ISO is not an acronym or initialism for the organization's full name in either official language; rather, the organization adopted ISO based on the Greek word isos (ἴσος), meaning equal -- recognizing that the organization’s initials would be different in different languages, the organization's founders chose ISO as the universal short form of its name.[4] However, one of the founding delegates, Willy Kuert, recollected the original naming question with the comment "I recently read that the name ISO was chosen because 'iso' is a Greek term meaning 'equal'. There was no mention of that in London!"[5]

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