• English

One year ago, on 29 January 2014, the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, originally developed under the auspices of the UNECE for its region.  This recognition underlined that official statistics – which must be reliable and objective information - are crucial for decision makers and citizens alike.

The ten principles of Official Statistics are considered a basic framework of values to be respected in all activities of national and international organizations that result in official statistics. This approval at the highest global political level means a worldwide appraisal of official statistics as a public good and the importance of both independence and objectivity, under which all official statistics should be produced.

The Fundamental Principles have come a long way since 1991, when they were developed and endorsed by the Conference of European Statisticians.   The journey went as follows:

1992- The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) endorsed the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics in the UNECE Region.

1994- The United Nations Statistical Commission endorsed these principles at the global level.

2013- The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) endorsed the Fundamental Principles

2014-The Fundamental Principles were endorsed by the General Assembly.

Several statistical organizations have released outreach material -such as videos- to explain the relevance of these principles to their users. See in particular examples from Canada and Spain on how the Fundamental Principles support the vitality of a democratic society, or guaranty confidentiality of respondent’s data.

But the journey does not end here. On-going work includes, among others, guidelines to strengthen the implementation of the Fundamental Principles (based on good practices developed at the national and regional levels) and guidelines on how to ensure the full independence of national statistical systems. The issue will be on the agenda on the forty-sixth session of the Statistical Commission next March.

For more information, please visit: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/doc15/2015-18-FP-E.pdf