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UNSC 45 Discusses Broader Measures of Progress

2014-banner7 March 2014: Held under the theme 'Integrated Information for a Better World,' the 45th Session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) discussed, inter alia, a report by the 'Friends of the Chair' Group on broader measures of progress. UNSC 45 took place on 4-7 March 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

In an opening statement, Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, described how the UNSC can contribute to UN policy priorities, including by informing and guiding policy formulation at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the UN Climate Summit, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF), as well as by monitoring agreed outcomes from these meetings.

The report by the Friends of the Chair addressed, inter alia: measuring and monitoring goals from the post-2015 framework; identifying elements for implementing a new monitoring framework; and a proposal for further involving official statisticians in the elaboration of a post-2015 development agenda. During discussion, the Republic of Korea suggested that the Group consider the report of the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Framework on Measuring Well-being, noting the importance of including cross-cutting issues such as gender, human rights and inequality in the post-2015 framework.

During a session on Lessons Learned from MDG Monitoring, Papua New Guinea, on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), supported a stand-alone and cross-cutting goal on statistics as part of the SDGs. He described the MDGs as a catalyst for improving statistical capacity in the Pacific, adding that Pacific countries are now able to report on poverty statistics, including in their annual regional MDG reports.

The Commission also discussed a report prepared by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on the role of statistics in the formulation of the post-2015 agenda, including on the role of regional cooperation and approaches to the agenda's formulation and implementation.

Ahead of the 45th Session, the Friends of the Chair compiled 29 Statistical Notes on the issues discussed during the stocktaking session of the OWG. These notes represent a “first input to the establishment of a monitoring framework” for the post-2015 development agenda. Each note provides background information on available information to monitor possible goals and targets, describes methodologies, data availability and sources, and discusses challenges. [UNSC 45 Website]  [USG Statement] [Statistical notes for the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG)[Korea Statement] [SPC Press Release] [Major Work Areas and Accomplishments] [Organization of the Session] [ESCAP Press Release]