(7 November 2013) Heads of national statistical institutes of Latin America and the Caribbean gathered at the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA) in Santiago, Chile, today agreed to strengthen the measurement of poverty, public security and justice, South-South cooperation and disability, and to improve gender equality indicators.
These agreements feature in the final resolution approved at the closing of the seventh meeting of the SCA, which is a subsidiary body of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which from 5 November brought together representatives from member countries, as well as experts from the United Nations and other international agencies.
In the final document, the SCA approves the creation of a working group on statistics for public security and justice, which will consist of Mexico as coordinator, as well as Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic, as well as a specialized centre of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The Conference also agreed to set up a task force composed of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, with ECLAC support, responsible for formulating and proposing a methodological design and roadmap that would measure South-South cooperation.
In addition, delegates approved the creation of another task force to prepare a regional report on measuring disability in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The SCA called on countries to include in their upcoming censuses the recommendations proposed during the discussions at this body.
In terms of the labour market, it noted the activities proposed for 2014-2015 to progress towards the standardization of measuring labour informality.
The Conference also supports the targets for continuing to improve gender statistics, and calls on the region's countries to collaborate on implementing the global strategy for improving agricultural and rural statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly in terms of South-South cooperation strategies.
At this SCA meeting, the working group on institution building presented a series of activities for the period 2014-2015 oriented to implement the Code of good practice for statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean, and particularly to carry out global evaluations in five of the region's countries, and the development of South-South cooperation for the application of the Code.
The SCA calls on countries that are interested in taking part in or benefiting from these activities to make themselves known.
The Conference appreciated the strengthening of national statistical capacities and the dissemination of good practices in monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region's countries, while also calling on them to increase their efforts to produce the information needed to formulate MDG indicators - with a view to accelerating the achievement of the Goals by 2015, and to actively participate in the process of the post-2015 agenda.
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