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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

World Statistics Day 2015, October 20.

Better Data, Better Lives - World Statistics Day 2015

 El tema de 2015 es: Datos mejores. Vidas mejores.

Good  data and  statistics are indispensable for informed decision - making by all actors in society.   This was  explicitly acknowledged in 2014, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the  Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics to promote citizen’s entitleme nt to public information. As  countries and organizations  embark on implement ing the ambitious 2030 Agenda for  Sustainable Development,  r eliable and timely statistics and indicators are more important than ever.  For  that reason,  World Statistics Day  this  year is being observed under  the  theme  “Better data, better lives.”  W e need to  en sure that everyone is counted, especially the most poor and vulnerable.  No child’s  birth shall remain unregistered . No incidence of disease , no matter how remote  the  locat ion , shall  remain un recorded .  We need local statistics to ensure that every child has access to education and we  need global statistics to monitor the overall effects of climate change. Over the past 15 years , many countries have made considerable effort s to strengthen their  national statistical capacity under the leadership of their national statistical offices.  The 2010 Population  and Housing Census Round, numerous national survey programmes, as well as administrative data, have  contributed around the  world to improving the information base for monitoring progress towards the  Millennium Development Goals , and have contributed significantly to the ir success. At the United Nations , the Statistical Commission has for almost 70 years led the global  statist ical system.  Through its standards and guidelines, the Commission  has  created a language which  enables us to communicate data and to share practical experiences globally.  Today,  the Commission  stands ready to play a key role in developing and implementin g a solid global measurement process for  the Sustainable Development Goals . However, the monitoring requirements  for the success of the  Sustainable Development Goals pose a significant challenge to even the most developed countries.  We need a data revolu tion.  We need  to strengthen statistical capacity and tap into the potential of new technology.  We need the contributions  and expertise of data producers and users, academia,  the  private sector and civil society.   On this  World Statistics Day , I  urge all partners and stakeholders to work together  to ensur e that  the necessary investments are made, adequate technical capacity is built, new data sources are explored  and innovative processes are applied to give all countries the comprehensive information s ystems they  need to achieve sustainable development.
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General.

United Nations Headquarters, New York, 20 October 2015  
Distinguished colleagues around the world,           

Today we are celebrating World Statistics Day 2015! And I would like to thank y ou for  inviting me to join your special celebration for a few minutes. Today we are  united as a global  professional community and as a global statistical family – in deliveri ng an important message:  better statistics bring better lives. The fundamental importance of  statistics has never had a stronger  recognition than it is receiving today. The call for better data for sustai nable development resonates  strongly with all of us.  During our working days we are bound by a shared professional ethos and  today on this da y  of celebration we are rightfully bound by a shared sense of professional  pride, conscious that what  we do every day has an impact on people’s life. Whether we work on a census or on a sur vey or on  administrative records; Whether we focus on collecting, processing or ma king data available to all;  Whether we double, triple or quadruple check data......
This day is for us – for each and ever y  statistician around the world. And the celebrations take many different forms : from seminars to  panel discussions, from creative competitions to songs; and it is generally a hap py affair – and  rightly so - appropriately symbolized by our little blue friend - the smiling statistician.          
We are living in a fast-evolving world. Our last World Statistics Day was  only 5 years ago,  but just consider how much has happened and changed since then: Let me highlight just  a few  milestones: 
• 2010 – the most successful and comprehensive Global Census round ever is conducted; 
• 2011 – the United Nations launches a programme on Global Geospatial Informa tion  Management, studying, among other things, the integration of statistical an d geospatial  information; 
• 2013 – the Statistical Commission launches a Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics; 
• 2014 – the UN General Assembly adopts the Fundamental Principles of Offic ial Statistics at  the highest political level;  • 2014 again – the UN Secretary General commissions a report on “Data Revolution for  Sustainable Development”; 
• 2015 – the last Millennium Development Goal indicator report is released, comp leting an  extra-ordinary chapter of global cooperation in statistics, led by t he Inter-Agency and Expert  Group on MDG indicators, delivering annually, not only to the policy makers but als o to the  2 public, the best available data sets to monitor progress towards the Mil lennium Development  Goals. 
• And this year again  – for the first time in history the Chair of the UN Statistic al  Commission addresses the UN General Assembly, to obtain the technical ma ndate to  formulate the new indicator framework for the newly adopted United Nations 2030  Sustainable Development Agenda.  And during that same 5-year period, at national level, many of you were exper iencing on the one  side the opportunities provided by fascinating ICT developments, but on t he other side the twin  pressures of ever-increasing user-demands paired with often decreasin g resources. Many national  statistical offices responded with a mixture of rationalization and moderniza tion to these new  challenges. 
The  2030  Sustainable  Development  Agenda  epitomizes  the  challenges  but  also  the  opportunities  ahead  of  us:  The  agenda  itself  recognizes  the  centr ality  of  statistics  and  data  to  development.  The  formulation  of  a  new,  global,  regional  and  nation al  indicator  architecture,  provides high visibility for our profession and uniquely opens the door f or an inter-active dialogue  with policy decision makers at all levels. We need to provide our  best professional advice: it is clear  that  the  significantly  broader  development  agenda  with  a  higher   focus  on  disaggregation  will  require  more  resources,  new  methodological  developments,  integrat ion  of  new  data  sources  with  traditional ones, the building of partnerships and increased cooperat ion within and across countries.  
To  put  it  in  my  simple  favourite  phrase  these  days:  Sustainabl e  Development  will  need  to  be  supported by Sustainable Statistics.   Therefore, our joint project for the future is to continue to buil d strong National Statistical  Systems,  National  Information  Systems,  under  the  leadership  of  the   National  Statistical  Offices.  This can only be successful if the statistical community has s trong support and full political backing  from  the  highest  national  authorities.  In  this  context  this  World  Statistics  Day  is  an  excellent  opportunity to start a conversation between users and producers of s tatistics and data at all levels. It  is  an  opportunity  to  showcase  our  achievements  centred  around  the  key   concepts  of  quality  and  sustainability,  and  to  demonstrate  our  unique  position  as  official  sta tisticians  to  contribute  to  improving the lives of many through our products – living up to our vis ion statement: Better Data.  Better Lives. 
Dear colleagues,  You will not be surprised, if I tell you that I am a firm bel iever in sub-regional, regional and  global  cooperation,  where  we  can  effectively  connect  and  share  knowledge  through  the  development of standards, which is the essence of our internationa l work. With the UN Statistical  Commission  we  have  a  powerful  platform  to  build  on  our  past  accomp lishments  and  to  prepare  jointly for future challenges. We at the UN Statistics Division are f ully committed to supporting you  and the Statistical Commission and we are already looking forwar d to seeing many of you here next  year in March. 
Thank you very much for your attention – and Happy World Statistics
Mr Stefan Schweinfest, UN Statistics Division.

 Official statistics help decision makers develop informed policies that impact millions of people. Improved data sources, sound statistical methods, new technologies and strengthened statistical systems enable better decisions that eventually result in better lives for all of us.

On 20 October 2015, the global statistical community will showcase their achievements and their ongoing work to help this vision come true. Tweet #StatsDay15

United Nations Statistics Division at a Glance 2015 - Better Data. Better Lives.

A Message from the UNSD Director

I am pleased to present the newly-designed overview of the United Nations Statistics Division’s work: Statistics Division at a Glance . The objective of this document is to inform our stakeholders – delegates, Chief Statisticians, colleagues from national, regional and international statistical agencies - about the work programme and achievements of the Statistics Division in the 2014. 
The recent year saw continued work in our regular work program as well as initiatives in some new and exciting topics. In the area of technical assistance, in the year 2014 the Division organized 43 workshops, expert group meetings and seminars at which a total of 2,878 professionals exchanged experience and received training. 96 individual fellowships were awarded to statisticians from developing countries to attend 19 regional and international meetings. The Division’s three Inter -regional Advisors conducted 11 advisory missions. 
One quarter of these events was organized under the regular programme for technical cooperation, the rest under the various multi - year capacity building trust funds and ongoing development account projects. In terms of substantive areas, the organized events covered demographic and social statistics (9); economic statistics, such as international trade, economic globalization, tourism, energy and industrial statistics and national accounts (22); environment statistics and environmental - economic accounting (6); and geospatial information management (6). In 2014 also UNSD released 19 publications (En glish and Bilingual) and 12 in languages (other than English) and one white cover draft publication. The prevalence of the use of electronic devices and the generation of digital information has caused a fundamental change to the nature of data. 
The statistical community is recognizing the potential offered by Big Data sources for Official Statistics and for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the statistical iii community is conscious of the fact that in order to take advantage of the various Big Data sources, it needs to adequately address issues pertaining to methodology, quality, technology, legislation, privacy, management and finance. The United Nations Statistics Division is also supporting the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) and its Friends of the Chair Group on broader measures of progress in the activities related to the development and implementation of a monitoring framework for the post-2015 development agenda. One important task is to provide statistical support to the intergovernmental process towards the post-2015 development agenda in order to ensure the measurability of goals and targets and that a robust measurement approach is incorporated from the onset. As always, we look forward to working with all of you this year to further strengthen the global statistical system in general and National Statistical Offices in particular. To reflect this goal as well as the upcoming challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals, we have adopted a new motto for the Statistics Division: Better Data, Better Lives .

Stefan Schweinfest Director
United Nations Statistics Division


United Nations Statistical Commission

 The 47th Session of the Statistical Commission will be held 8-11 March 2016 in New York.


Today 20 October 2015 the United Nations Statistical Division joins statistical offices, universities, international organisations, the private sector and Statisticians worldwide in celebrating the second Word Statistical Day, promoting the invaluable importance of data in the uplifting of lives, “Better Data Better Lives”.

For more information on planned activities and supporting resources, please visit the World Statistics Day 2015 website.

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