At the Statistics Division of ESCAP, we are convinced that objective and independent official statistics are paramount for democracy and balanced national development. Therefore, we do our best to improve official statistics and advocate their use in developing countries/areas of the Asian and Pacific region.
We are guided by the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the Principles Governing International Statistical Activities, and of course by the work programme and the membership of ESCAP. Our mandates arise from a number of General Assembly, ECOSOC and ESCAP resolutions.
The Statistics Division is one of the eight substantive divisions of the ESCAP secretariat. It has twelve Professional and twelve General Service staff members, and a varying number of project staff, consultants and individual contractors.
Together with the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific, the Statistics Division implements the Statistics subprogramme of ESCAP. The mandates of the subprogramme include capacity building initiatives; data compilation and dissemination outputs; research related to standards and methodology; and other support for the Committee on Statistics. The subprogramme currently reports to the Committee on Statistics.
The core areas of the Division's work include implementing programmes for capacity building in statistics; collecting and analysing data on the region; and publishing statistical and analytical publications. These activities are described in detail elsewhere on the Division's web site, http://www.unescap.org/stat/. We work closely with organizations that are part of national statistics systems in the region (national statistical offices are our main counterparts); the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific; the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; other United Nations regional and subregional offices; and with a large number of international agencies that have a mandate in statistics.
ESCAP is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Each of the five regional commissions is represented at the United Nations Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC. The mandates of the regional commissions are determined by member states of the region which are influenced by resolutions and decisions made by ECOSOC. As the respective member states of each regional commission are responsible for forming the mandates, each regional statistics programme has different priorities and areas of work. The Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations Headquarters serves as the secretariat of the United Nations Statistical Commission, one of the functional commissions of ECOSOC; this division is directly mandated by the United Nations Statistical Commission and ECOSOC. There is a close collaborative partnership relationship between the Headquarters Statistics Division and statistics divisions of the regional commissions.