60 Years of Building the Global Statistical
The Statistical Commission - Then
38th session of the Statistical
Commission, due to be held from 27 February to 2
March 2007, will mark the 60th anniversary of the Commission.
The United Nations Statistics
Division, as the Secretariat
of the Commission, is planning a number of special activities
to commemorate significant accomplishments
that the Commission has made during its 60 years of existence,
such as the adoption of the System
of National Accounts in 1953, 1968, and 1993, the
launching of the World
Population and Housing Census Programme in 1965,
1975, 1985, 1995, and 2005, and the adoption of the Fundamental
Principles of Official Statistics in 1994.
its first regular session in 1947, the rotating
Commission membership increased from 12 to 24 countries. Country
participation grew from 9 at the Commission’s
first regular session to 95 countries at the thirty-seventh
session in 2006, with a remarkable expansion of developing
country attendance from 2 to 73 countries. Until 1999,
the meetings were held biennially; since then the Commission
has convened annually.
of work of the Statistical
also expanded over time. The first regular session addressed
a limited number of agenda items including the role of the Sub-Commission
on Statistical Sampling, the transfer of the statistical
services of the League of
coordination of statistical activities between the United
Nations and specialized agencies, and relations with
international non-governmental organizations interested in
the development of statistics. At the thirty-seventh
session in 2006, 23 substantive themes were brought up ranging
from the long-standing themes such as national accounts and
social statistics to more recent topics such as environmental
accounting and informal sector statistics.
these changes are significant, the Commission’s commitment
to develop statistical standards and promote an internationally
comparable statistical system remains as strong today as when
the Commission was established 60 years ago.