DESA News Vol. 12, No. 08 August 2008

Technical cooperation

Standardization of geographical names in Africa

To promote standardization of geographical names, DESA’s Statistics Division will hold a workshop for geographers and other experts in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 4 to 8 August. In addition to addressing the technical problems in the standardization of geographical names, participants will have a chance to reflect on the problems of toponymic administration in Africa, the establishment of national names authorities, aspects of international standardization and the involvement of the United Nations. The workshop is being organized jointly with the African Organization of Cartography and Remote Sensing, the Institut Géographique du Burkina Faso and the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names.

Worldwide geographical names standards designed to promote the consistent and accurate use of names are important in meeting the everyday needs of international, national and regional communication, whether it be in the service of commerce, transport and administration or international relations and the provision of humanitarian aid. In sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions, standardization of place names is seen as crucial to advancing economic development and in the fight against poverty.

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Latin American workshop on manufacturing statistics

The DESA Statistics Division, in collaboration with ECLAC and the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, is organizing a workshop on manufacturing statistics, to take place in Lima, Peru from 19 to 22 August. Participants will discuss issues of classification and classifications revision in the manufacturing sector, as well as the set up and maintenance of business registers related to manufacturing statistics. The workshop will also focus on data sources for data items listed in the International Recommendations for Industrial Statistics 2008.

This workshop continues the programme for the development of comprehensive and comparable manufacturing statistics in the Latin American region, initiated by an exploratory workshop in September 2007. It is part of a DESA initiative to strengthen the methodological and operational foundation of industrial statistics at the national level, and to promote an integrated approach to economic data by national statistical systems.

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Promotion of water accounts in GCC countries

Officials from the national statistical offices and ministries of water from Gulf Cooperation Council countries – Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates – will join experts from environmental research centres in Beirut from 25 to 28 August to share experiences in the development of water statistics. The primary aim of the workshop is to enhance understanding of the System of Environmental Accounts for Water, and to promote its implementation among Gulf States. The event is being organized by DESA’s Statistics Division in collaboration with ESCWA.

The system of water accounts, known by its acronym, SEEA-W, was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission as an international standard in 2007 with a view to supporting integrated water resources management and the elaboration of environmental indicators for decision-making. National water accounts help describe the relationship between water resources and the economy, and facilitate the design of economic and water policies as well as the analysis of their impact.

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