Countries in Asia and the Pacific on Friday adopted a declaration ‘Navigating Policy with Data to Leave No One Behind’ to strengthen national statistical systems aiming at presenting a more complete picture of the region’s development and to support good governance, health and human rights.
It was agreed at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) sixth committee on statistics held in Bangkok from 16 to 19 October, said a press release.The committee brought together high-level policymakers along with leaders of National Statistical Systems to identify transformative and collective actions to advance the regions progress towards the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
In his opening remarks, the officer-in-charge of ESCAP Hongjoo Hahm called on the policymakers to push the regional agenda for strengthening data and statistics in their respective countries, with the support of National Statistical Offices and other ministries.
Hahm said, “I hope the policymakers have witnessed the strength of the statistical community and their desires for their collective vision, but most importantly, the actions they are requesting that call for a whole of government approach to strengthen data and statistics throughout our region.”
The declaration calls on governments to make nine commitments to strengthen and transform national statistical systems in support of the 2030 Agenda. It also calls on development partners to support national statistical systems and on ESCAP facilitate its implementation.
In his keynote address, Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj, minister of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Royal Thai Government, has noted some of the key challenges of the changing statistical landscape, particularly in relation to big data and the need for data protection.
Dr Samaychnah Boupha, deputy minister and chief statistician of Ministry of Planning and Investment Lao PDR, added that Lao’s statistical legislation enables the Lao National Statistics Bureau to take full advantage of new, innovative and frontier technologies.The ESCAP committee on statistics is held every two years to support the collective vision and framework for action by the Asia-Pacific statistical community of advancing official statistics for the 2030 Agenda.