In preparation for a UN Statistical Committee session in New York 22-25 February 2011, ESCWA convened in Beirut the working group of its Statistical Committee on 3-4 February to facilitate regional consultations.
"ESCWA seeks to play the role of a mediator between national statistical bureaus on the one hand and UN agencies on the other in order to address discrepancies between data from national sources and those provided by international ones," Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf said in an opening statement at the meeting.
To this end, the Regional Commission has put in place a central statistical database aimed at improving the quality of statistics used by ESCWA, in cooperation with national statistical bureaus of member states. The Regional Commission is also committed to support statistical capacities in the region, which is the first objective of its statistical work.
"The importance of statistical information to policy-makers in every country is indisputable, as it is to ESCWA. It is well known that policy analysis, advisory services and activity planning are not fully viable without accurate information and statistical data," Khalaf added. "Our region needs sufficient, accurate and timely statistical data issued at the appropriate time to tackle emerging social, economic and environmental issues."
The Working Group also discussed the strategic vision for ESCWA's statistical work and the general preparations for the 42nd session of the UN Statistical Committee.