On World Statistics Day, UN flags importance of reliable data to achieve new development agenda

20 October 2015

Emphasizing that “reliable and timely statistics and indicators are more important than ever,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged all partners and stakeholders to work together to achieve the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

“On this World Statistics Day, I urge all partners and stakeholders to work together to ensure 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 systems they need to achieve sustainable development,” Mr. Ban said in a message.

Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the UN Statistics Division in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, elaborated by saying that “it is clear that the significantly broader development agenda with a higher focus on disaggregation will require more resources, new methodological developments, integration of new data sources with traditional ones, the building of partnerships and increased cooperation within and across countries.”

“Sustainable development will need to be supported by sustainable Statistics,” Mr. Schweinfest declared, referring to the newly-adopted UN post-2015 development framework.

Mr. Ban said that as countries and organizations embark on implementing the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reliable and timely statistics and indicators are more important than ever.

“We need to ensure that everyone is counted, especially the most poor and vulnerable,” he said. “No child’s birth shall remain unregistered. No incidence of disease, no matter how remote the location, shall remain unrecorded.”

The UN chief said “local statistics” are needed to ensure that every child has access to education while “global statistics” are needed to monitor the effects of climate change.

Also marking the Day, the UN Statistics Division will launch in New York the new World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics report, which presents the latest statistics and analyses of the status of women and men in areas of concern identified by the landmark 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. It also reviews progress towards gender equality over the past 20 years.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) will celebrate World Statistics Day with a talk on why investing in primary and secondary data collection and analysis are fundamental for the design and implementation of food assistance programmes worldwide.

And the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is releasing today its new FAO Statistical Pocketbook 2015 and a special statistics publication focusing on coffee and includes country profiles with key indicators related to coffee for selected years.


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