UN Statistical Commission Highlights

Current session of the Statistical Commission
United Nations Headquarters,
New York

The recommendations of the Nuclear Commission paved the way for the creation of the Statistical Commission [...] and called for the establishment of "an adequate, thoroughly competent central statistical unit", whose functions are outlined, "to serve the statistical needs of all departments and organs of the United Nations";...
Report to the Economic and Social Council on the First Session of the Commission:
Setting the Agenda for the Commission's Work, para. 9
Lake Success , New York ,
27 January-7 February 1947

"It is our firm belief that the global statistical system will function more effectively if all countries are true partners in the system, from methodological development, standard setting, to final implementation in national practices. In this regard, UNSD will continue to expand its work to promote participation of countries in all aspects of international statistical activities. This would range from expert group meetings, task forces, regional meetings, and especially the Commission Session itself."...

Statement on Programme Issues
37th Session of the Statistical Commission
Paul Cheung, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division
New York, 7-10 March 2006

In a resolution on strengthening statistical capacity, adopted by consensus and contained in the report of the Statistical Commission on its thirty-seventh session, "the Council calls on Member States to intensify their efforts to strengthen national statistical capacity in order to produce reliable and timely statistics... "

Excerpts from 24 July ECOSOC/6233 Report.
Full text available at: http://www.un.org/News/Press/
docs/ 2006/ecosoc6233.doc.htm


Subject-matter related facts

  • Eight most discussed subjects:  Coordination and integration of statistical programs, environment statistics, external trade statistics, industrial statistics, national accounts, population and housing censuses, social statistics, and technical cooperation.

  • Most discussed topic: National accounts addressed in 29 sessions.

  • Most common theme of the 1940s: Statistical sampling.

  • Most common theme of the 1950s: External trade statistics.

  • Most common theme of the 1960s: System of National Accounts (SNA).

  • Most common theme of the 1970s: Coordination and integration of statistical programs.

  • Most common themes of the 1980s: Environment statistics, links between the System of National Accounts (SNA) and the System of Balances of the National Economy (MPS), population and housing censuses, SNA, technical cooperation.

  • Most common themes of the 1990s: Coordination and integration of statistical programmes and technical cooperation. 

Country/region/participants-related facts

  • Total of countries that have participated either as members or
    : 134.

  • Number of countries represented at first session: 9.
    Number of countries represented at thirty seventh session in 2006
    : 97.
    (Includes Holy See and Palestine as Observers).

  • Increase in the developing country participation from the first session in 1947 to the thirty-seventh session in 2006: from 2 to 73.

  • Most often participated as a member (including nuclear and special sessions):
    Russian Federation/USSR and the United Kingdom (39 times) followed by United States (38 times), France and India (35 times), and China and Ukraine (30 times).

  • Most frequently participated as an observer: Canada:  (15 times) followed by Italy (14 times), Cuba (13 times), Belarus and Turkey (11 times), and Portugal (9 times).

  • Most often participated either as a member or an observer: France, Russian Federation/USSR, United Kingdom and the United States (39 times) followed by India (37 times), Canada (35 times), Ukraine (34 times) and China (33 times).

  • Most frequently held Chairmanship: Netherlands (4), United Kingdom (4), United States(4).