UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe


UN/CEFACT continues development of technology- and implementation-
neutral e-business standards

Geneva, 21 August 2003
The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) announces the successful completion of the ebXML technical standards work with the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). UN/CEFACT continues to capitalize on the gains made from ebXML in the further development of technology-neutral and implementation-neutral global e-Business standards for government, industry and commerce.

UN/CEFACT and OASIS have since 1999 been working on a joint initiative to expand the use and growth of the Internet by developing the next generation of electronic business standards based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language). The ebXML (electronic Business with XML) initiative called for an 18-month worldwide open development project to create a technical framework enabling the use of XML as a consistent means for the exchange of electronic business data. The original ebXML initiative concluded in May 2001 with full community approval of a framework of technical specifications.

For the past two years, UN/CEFACT and OASIS have enjoyed a close working relationship to finalize the set of ebXML specifications, and in May 2003 the UN/CEFACT Plenary adopted these as UN/CEFACT Technical Specifications.

“Working closely with our colleagues at OASIS has been a unique opportunity for UN/CEFACT to lead the development of global technology standards and help drive awareness of how XML and Internet technology support government, industry and commerce” says Ray Walker, Chair of the UN/CEFACT Steering Group. “We are extremely proud of our OASIS working relationship and we remain open to working with OASIS in the future.”

UN/CEFACT, which is based at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva and has a global remit, has led the development of international standards for electronic transactions. Its experience and its ability to bring together world-class experts and match trends in information technology with business requirements, in an open and transparent way, gives it a unique viewpoint.

“Recognition that the next technology trend is just around the corner resulted in the recent UN/CEFACT Plenary meeting directing a new work programme to move UN/CEFACT closer to web services” said Dr Christian Fruhwald, Chair of UN/CEFACT. “This new work, known as UN/CEFACT Business Collaboration Framework (BCF), will allow UN/CEFACT to identify the growing needs of government, commercial and industrial organizations as they approach their global information exchange requirements.”

“Going forward we expect to make use of much of our ebXML technical work as we continue to develop UN/CEFACT’s technology neutral and implementation neutral global e-framework. We hope to use the newly established liaisons with the OASIS Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) Technical Committee (TC), plus the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) and our UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Business Process Working Group to align our efforts, and eliminate duplication of work”, says Klaus-Dieter Naujok, Chair of UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Group and former Chair of the ebXML Project.

For more information, please contact:

Santiago Garcia-Mila
Chair, UN/CEFACT Communications and Promotions Group
+34 933 306 88 00

Klaus-Dieter Naujok
Chair, UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Group
+ 1 925 706 2954

Ray Walker
Chair, UN/CEFACT Steering Group
+44 208 297 1836

Hans A. Hansell
Deputy Director, Trade Development and Timber Division, UNECE
+41 (0) 22 917 2457

Ref: ECE/TRADE/03/P07