ODF: United Nations, Singapore, Phillipines

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The ZDNet Asia article “Call for Asia to adopt ODF” gives a good roundup of some strong pickup of the OpenDocument Format in Asia. While I certainly expect we will see more countries issuing top level policy statements around ODF and open standards in general, this bottom-up support is especially exciting. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

SINGAPORE–An official from the United Nations (U.N.) has called for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to embrace the OpenDocument format.

Sunil Abraham, manager of the International Open Source Network (IOSN) at the U.N., told ZDNet Asia that most governments in the region have already stated their support for open standards, through their respective government interoperability frameworks.

He hopes that governments in the region will now extend that support and “seriously consider” the OpenDocument Format (ODF).

Last month, Malaysia became the one of the first Asian countries to propose the use of ODF as a national standard for office documents. Hasannudin Saidin, a member of Sirim, the country’s standards development agency, said on his blog last month that the proposal will now undergo approval from a higher-level committee within Sirim.

Public consultation on the proposal will stretch over two months, beginning in September and ending in October 2006, after which comments will be raised to the Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. According to Saidin, ODF is expected to become a Malaysian-defined standard MS 26300, by the year-end.

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