Representatives of the national statistical institutes of Latin American and Caribbean countries agreed today on the urgency of improving the gathering of information and of achieving accurate and timely data for making informed and effective decisions, at the inauguration of the twenty-second meeting of the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Participating in the intergovernmental event – which is being held virtually through Thursday, May 4 – are authorities from 25 of ECLAC’s Member States along with representatives of United Nations agencies, funds and programs, intergovernmental organizations and academia.
The meeting was inaugurated by Rolando Ocampo, Director of ECLAC’s Statistics Division, on behalf of José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, the regional commission’s Executive Secretary; Marco Lavagna, Director of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) of Argentina, the country serving as Chair of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of ECLAC; Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division; and Susana Sottoli, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
In his opening remarks, Rolando Ocampo referred to some of the topics that will be addressed at the meeting, such as recent progress on the use of administrative records for statistical purposes.
With regard to that, he highlighted that this source of information offers significant possibilities for improving the efficacy and efficiency of the processes of statistical production and dissemination. He also underscored that it is important to have an updated perspective on the state of administrative records, the progress achieved as a region, and the issues that need resolving in order to accelerate the progress made.
“We know there are challenges in different areas. We think that one of the best ways to address them is based on exchanging experiences and the search for joint solutions at a regional level, for which the SCA provides an especially conducive context,” he affirmed.
The Director of ECLAC’s Statistics Division also stressed the importance of economic surveys, a useful source for producing both macroeconomic and microeconomic indicators and which allows for detailed analysis of economies’ activities.
Finally, Rolando Ocampo emphasized the systematic efforts made by countries with a view to improving the gathering of information and achieving accurate and timely data, and he urged authorities to identify opportunities for collaboration and joint learning.
“The SCA is a forum in which the region’s countries can work together to tackle shared challenges and find sustainable and effective solutions. I hope that at this meeting we can continue to foster collaboration and cooperation between our countries,” he concluded.
Marco Lavagna, Director of Argentina’s INDEC, meanwhile, stated that in this era of digital communications, national statistical offices face an additional challenge: to bring greater clarity and method to the information the population receives.
Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the UN Statistics Division, highlighted the efforts that are being made to find the best way to work collectively in the area of social statistics, in view of 2030. “My dream is that we will have integrated and interconnected tools before the new global agenda is adopted,” he affirmed.
Susana Sottoli, Regional Director of UNFPA, called for redoubling efforts and seeking innovative solutions to strengthen information systems in order to ensure that all people, especially those who are rendered invisible, can be counted. “Counting people makes them visible and this increases the possibility of bolstering their well-being and their rights,” she said.
At the twenty-second meeting of the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of ECLAC, participants will analyze recent advances in utilizing administrative records for statistical purposes, along with progress on wider use of economic surveys. They will also review progress on the implementation of the Biennial Programme of Regional and International Cooperation Activities 2022-2023.
Along with Argentina, which is serving as Chair, the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas in the 2022-2023 biennium is made up of Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Italy and Jamaica. The Conference’s twelfth meeting will be held in September 2023 at ECLAC’s headquarters in Santiago, Chile.