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UNECE work attracting global interest at the United Nations Statistical Commission

How to measure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What implications will technological advancements have on the production of statistics? These are two of the topics that will be discussed by the statistical community next week in New York (8-11 March) at the 47th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission. The Commission is the highest body promoting the development of statistics around the world. UNECE will be there to share its expertise on topics that are at the forefront of the global agenda: statistical modernisation and climate change.

One of the key areas of work for UNECE’s Statistical Division is the modernization of statistics. The High-level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics is the driving force in creating a vision and strategy for the modernization of official statistics. It has also been instrumental in translating that vision into action, in partnership with national statistical organizations around the world.

In recognition of the wider value of this work, the Statistical Commission has invited the UNECE High-level Group to present regular progress reports on the modernization of official statistics, starting from this year. In addition, UNECE is organizing a side event on the topic of Building the Statistical Modernisation Community. This is a new UNECE-led partnership of statistical organizations committed to working together to improve efficiency and ensure flexibility to meet new data requirements, including for monitoring progress towards the SDGs.

In 2014, the Conference of European Statisticians endorsed the UNECE Recommendations on Climate Change-Related Statistics. UNECE developed these recommendations with a group of international experts from countries and international organizations, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These are the first ever recommendations that define what climate change-related statistics are and clearly describe how official statisticians can contribute with concrete actions to inform climate policies.

Climate action is one of the SDGs and one of the most pressing challenges of our time. There is a growing demand for accurate and reliable climate change data, which means that official statistics have never been as relevant as now. Countries are also relying on the UNECE Recommendations to improve their data. The Statistical Commission will discuss whether the work done under UNECE can be a starting point for developing a global set of climate change statistics and indicators.