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Advancing the Global Statistical System- Major work areas and accomplishments

28 July 2010

ECOSOC discussion of Statistical Commission report, 21 July 2010
Statement by the United States delegation

The United States continues to be impressed with the ongoing work of the Statistical Commission and its mission of developing statistical standards and guidelines that foster better comparability of national data and strengthening national statistical capacity. We were pleased by the Commission's adoption of revised and updated standards and guidelines for international merchandise trade statistics and international statistics on trade in services. We welcome the Commission’s work to improve environment statistics through the development of a core set of environment statistics and its adoption of the International Recommendations for Water Statistics. In addition, we commend the Commission for its continuing attention to the need to improve rural and agricultural data as the world increases its attention to food security and alleviating poverty and hunger.

With regard to the System of National Accounts, the United States congratulates the Commission on the recent publication of the System of National Accounts 2008 volume. As attention turns to implementation, we urge countries to take the steps necessary to improve their basic economic statistics.

The importance of the technical work performed by the Statistical Commission is highlighted as UN Member States prepare for the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to discuss progress towards the MDGs. Quality statistical data are critical to evaluating- our progress and determining what remains to be done. We have no doubt that the capacity building initiatives performed by the Commission have contributed to the quality of the data collected.

The Statistical Commission remains committed to advancing the cause of capacity building and standardization of statistical methods throughout the world. The United States is impressed with the perennial professionalism exhibited by Statistical Commission members and their commitment to efficiency, transparency and knowledge sharing. The Commission consistently attracts the top statisticians in the world, and their continued involvement demonstrates the high quality and importance of the work performed by the Commission and its members. We are grateful that so many leaders in this field dedicate their time and efforts to this important work. We urge the Commission to continue its commitment to excellence and to working together in a spirit of cooperation.

In conclusion, we welcome and look forward to the celebration of the statistical work of the United Nations on World Statistics Day, October 20, 2010.