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Towards the 2008 SNA - Information on the process of updating the 1993 SNA

About the Updating Process

The System of National Accounts 1993 was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) during its 27th session in 1993 as the international standard for compilation of national accounts statistics and for the international reporting of comparable national accounting data.

In 1999 the UNSC during its 30th session endorsed the proposal of a mechanism for incremental updating of the 1993 SNA in order to maintain the systems relevance in a fast evolving world economy and to resolve ambiguities that may appear during its implementation. Using this update process some updates have been issued by Intersecretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) since 1996.

In 2002 the UNSC during its 33rd session endorsed the creation of an Advisory Expert Group (AEG) to advise ISWGNA on methodological issues and to assist ISWGNA in achieving resolutions on outstanding issues as well as issues arising in the future.

Developing aspects of globalisation and the appearances of new economic phenomena have led to new topics that warranted a comprehensive rather than an incremental update of 1993 SNA. Therefore, the UNSC at its 34th session in 2003 adopted a more consolidated review of the 1993 SNA emphasizing the following:

No fundamental or comprehensive changes to the 1993 SNA

Maintain consistency with related handbooks, such as Balance of Payments Manual, Government Finance Statistics and Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual

Focus update on a number of specific issues, but list of issues remains open-ended

ISWGNA continues managing and coordinating role with assistance from the Advisory Expert Group (AEG)

Transparency of the review process for broad support in the international statistical community

Global participation of statistical community

More detailed information regarding the management of the update process (workprogramme, governanace structure, ISWGNA meetings, etc.) can be found on the Project Management page.

All relevant information regarding the updating process (list of issues with papers, recommendations and comments from the global consultation, revised chapters and comments from the global consultation, etc.) can be found on the 1993 SNA Update Information page.

Project Management

The Project Management page contains all documents (workprogramme, governance arrangements, progress reports of the project manager, reports to the UNSC, minutes of ISWGNA meetings, etc.) relevant to the management of the update project.

1993 SNA Update Information

The 1993 SNA Update Information page contains links to all information (list of update issues with corresponding papers, recommendations and global consultation comments; issue-by-chapter matrix for draft chapters of volume 1 and 2 with corresponding chapter comments; list of consistency issues; etc.) and all documents (pre-edit white-cover version of volume 1 and 2, Full Set of Consolidated Recommendations, etc.) relevant to the updated process.

Advisory Expert Group

The Advisory Expert Group page contains all available information (agenda, papers, presentations, background information, reports, etc.) available for each of the AEG meetings.


The Timeline page contains a detailed timeline of the various stages of the update process of the 1993 SNA.

List of Research Issues

The list of research issues page contains a detailed description of the research issues that emerged in the course of the update of the 1993 SNA but where more extensive consideration was needed than what was possible in the course of the update. This lisr formed the basis for the research agenda presented in Annex 4 of the 2008 SNA.

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