​ESCWA Concludes 12th Session of Statistics Committee Skip to main content

​ESCWA Concludes 12th Session of Statistics Committee

Beirut, Lebanon

On 4 and 5 April ESCWA held the 12th session of its Statistical, at the UN House, Beirut. The meeting launched the first Arabic-language Gender Statistics Toolkit and eLearning module.
Head of the ESCWA Statistical Policies and Coordination section Neda Jaafar said during the launch that this toolkit is the outcome of years of national and regional experience, and will benefit the users and producers of statistics, namely gender-related statistics. “The quality collection and dissemination of gender statistics improves the development of all kinds of statistics,” she added.
The opening session of the meeting saw two statements by Director of the ESCWA Statistics Division Juraj Riecan and President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) Ola Awad, delivered on her behalf by PCBS Director General a.i Muhammad Al Omari.
In his statement, Riecan noted that the 12th Session of the ESCWA Statistical Committee “takes place in time, when expectations of users raise many new challenges for official statistics. The desire for timely and detailed information and data is rapidly growing on the part of policy makers, private sectors and the public at large. Therefore, already at the data collection phase, statistical offices need to apply modern technology, such as GPS enable mobile devices to integrate statistical and geospatial data.”
He also noted: “the UN Statistical Commission has made a significant progress in the course of the past two years. Its two specialized groups: The Inter-Agency Expert Group on Sustainable Developments Goals Indicators and the High-Level Group for Partnership and Capacity Development have established a basis for global monitoring of progress along the SDGs. The global framework of indicators will be discussed, and hopefully adopted, by the General Assembly of the UN.”
For her part, Awad said that the Statistical Committee has made several achievements during the previous phase, which reflected positively on its work, adding that a number of countries in the region has begun using modern technology for data-collection whether in family surveys or population censuses. “The State of Palestine is also carrying out the 2017 census using modern technologies. It is our hope that this step will contribute to improving the quality of data production, and we also hope this experience will spread to countries of the region.”
Awad also noted that the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the ensuing international indicators as well as the national and regional indicators that could be added to them, imposes additional responsibilities on national bureaus of statistics to meet the demands of data provision and sustainable development indicator monitoring. She also pointed out that together with the Lebanese Central Administration of Statistics, PCBS is implementing the first census of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Election of Officers
According to ESCWA rules of procedure, Qatar assumed the chairmanship of the 12th session, represented by Assistant Deputy Minister of Statistics Affairs in the Ministry of Developmental Planning and Statistics Sultan bin Ali Alkawari. Vice chairs were designated as Palestine and Kuwait, represented by PCBS Director General a.i. Muhammad Al Omari, and Director of Commercial, Agricultural and Service Statistics at the Central Statistical Bureau of Kuwait Khaledah Jumah Alkharraz, respectively. Egypt was designated as Rapporteur, represented by the Head of the Central Administration for Household and Service Statistics at the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics in Egypt Hassan Taher Saleh.
The meeting wrapped with several key recommendations for statistics in the Arab region, namely work on the establishment of new national strategies to develop statistics and benefit from the 2030 sustainable development goals Agenda as leverage to their use, based on the guiding principles of the partnership in statistics for development in the 21st century (Paris 21).