The coordination of the United Nations statistical system has been a regular topic on the agenda of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) in the past. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the coordination became even more strategic. Illustrated in many different documents addressed to the UNSC in recent years, new challenges to the global statistical community and the UN system have arisen.
The Audit report by Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) recalled these new challenges in 2016: “DESA should, in consultation with the Statistical Commission, explore the possibility of designating a senior statistician as United Nations Chief Statistician to coordinate statistical matters across the United Nations entities”. In March 2017, the UN Statistical Commission “took note of the recommendation of the Office of Internal Oversight Services […] and agreed that this topic should be discussed further by the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB).
Based on this decision, the HLG-PCCB presented a background paper with the title “Does the United Nations need a Chief Statistician?” at the 49th Session of the UNSC. The discussion showed that a more efficient and better coordinated UN Statistical System is needed to face the challenges in the era of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development. The Statistical Commission tasked the HLG-PCCB to need come back to the 50th session of the UNSC to discuss further how to strengthen the coordination and to achieve a more efficient United Nations statistical system, as well as how a stronger voice for official statistics within the United Nations system can be done.
The session discusses different approaches and gives the chance to all actors outside of the UN Statistical Commission to comment and to discuss the topic.