Coordinating the international statistical system

Agriculture, trade, gender, economic and financial statistics, data dissemination and property price indices are among the priorities in the Statistical Commission from 23-26 February in New York

The United Nations Statistical Commission brings together Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world. It is the highest decision making body for international statistical activities, in particular for the setting of statistical standards, the development of concepts and methods and their implementation at the national and international level.

The Statistical Commission oversees the work of DESA’s Statistics Division, and is a Functional Commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The Commission promotes the development of national statistics and the improvement of their comparability, coordinates the statistical work of specialized agencies, develops the central statistical services of the Secretariat and advises the organs of the United Nations on general questions relating to the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical information.

The 40th session this year will focus on the advancement of the global statistical system, statistical capacity development and the coordination of international statistical programmes.

Prior to the official opening, a seminar on Emerging Trends in Data Dissemination and Communication will be held on 19 February and provide a discussion forum for statistical managers to share experiences on new approaches in the way National Statistical Offices and International Agencies disseminate their data to users and engage actively in communication with them.

The official opening of the Commission will be take place on 23 February and will hold a lunchtime seminar on Measuring Property Prices on that day. Organized by Statistics Norway, the seminar will provide a forum to discuss measurement issues related to the compilation of property price indices. The recent financial crisis, housing price bubbles and the subsequent collapse of housing markets point to the importance of compiling accurate and comparable property price indices across countries.

On the same day, a meeting of the Friends of Chair working group will focus on the global strategy to improve agricultural and rural statistics and an afternoon event will discuss the preparation for the international conference on agricultural statistics.

Another lunch time seminar on the following day will present the key outcomes from the recent Conference on Modernization of Statistical Production, organized by Statistics Sweden, as well as the experiences of two statistical offices, those of New Zealand and United Kingdom, which have embarked on extensive programmes of production modernization.

On 25 February, the Commission will hold a briefing on the work of the Interagency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics and at the same time on statistical indicators on violence against women. A lunchtime seminar will focus on population censuses in post-conflict countries. The afternoon of this day will discuss international trade statistics and identify answers for a changing world, new challenges and opportunities.

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