The sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk to the bottom of the Barents Sea in 2000 can be cited as a major impetus for the formation of ISO/TC 223. The salvage operation that followed the accident provided painful evidence that the international community lacked the tools necessary to cooperate effectively in emergency situations, resulting in an initiative from the Russian standards organization, GOST, to establish ISO/TC 223. Originally titled "Civil defense", the committee was created to standardize international emergency procedures. Unfortunately, the initiative lay dormant for some time. However, terrorist actions, including the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, as well as a surge in natural disasters at the time, led ISO to conduct a large-scale assessment of the role of standardization in the security field. One important decision was to restart the work originally started by ISO/TC 223.

In 2005 the chairmanship of the committee was taken over by the SIS, Swedish Standards Institute and Ambassador Krister Kumlin was appointed as Chair. To better reflect its ambition of taking a broader approach toward disruptive incidents that threaten civil society, ISO/TC 223 was renamed Societal security. The scope of the committee is very broad, covering all phases of man-made or naturally-caused disaster situations. Since its first meeting in Stockholm in May 2006 the membership of ISO/TC 223 has grown steadily and today consists of 47 participating (P) members, 20 observer (O) members and several liaisons.

In 2012, Ambassador Krister Kumlin retired after six years of service and Mrs. Åsa Kyrk Gere was appointed as new Chair of the committee.

Previous chairs and secretaries
Krister Krister Kumlin Ambassador Kumlin served as the first Chair of ISO/TC 223 for a six years period between 2006-2012.
Per Per Forsgren Mr Forsgren served as the first Secretary of ISO/TC 223 and supported the committee during its establishment and at its first meeting.
Stefan Stefan Tangen Dr Tangen served as the Secretary of ISO/TC 223 between 2006-2013. He is still part of the committee but has taken on other roles including the convenorship of the ISO/TC 223 communication group.
Sanna Sanna Edlund Mrs Edlund served as the Secretary of ISO/TC 223 in a short period of 2013


Upcoming events

20-24 January in Bogota, Colombia 
Working Group 9 meeting

[TBD] February, Zoom
Communication Group meeting

[TBD] Mars in London, UK 
Working Group 6 and Working Group 8 meeting

21-26 June, 2020, in Berlin, Germany
8th ISO/TC 292 plenary meeting



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