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. The mandates arise from a number of General Assembly, ECOSOC and ESCAP resolutions.
The Statistics Division is one of the seven 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 subprogramme reports to the Committee on Statistics, which was reinstated by the sixty-fourth session of the Commission in April 2008. During 2003 - 2007 it reported to the Committee on Poverty Reduction.
The core areas of the Division's work include 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 the national statistics systems of the region, with national statistical offices as our main counterparts. At international level, we collaborate 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, which all report to United Nations Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC. All secretariats of the regional commissions have an equivalent statistics division. As the respective members have relative independence in determining the priorities of the regional commissions, each regional statistics programme has its own 'flavour'. The Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations Headquarters serves, among its other functions, as the secretariat of the United Nations Statistical Commission, one of the functional commissions of ECOSOC. There is a close collaborative partnership, rather than subordinate, relationship between the Headquarters Statistics Division and statistics divisions of the regional commissions.