The statisticians of the region were concerned that the revised UNESCAP conference structure might undermine their ability to work collaboratively on a range of statistical issues of common interest. They felt that there is a strong need for the maintenance of an apex forum of official statisticians in the region to influence national decision-making as well as providing regional input to global discussions at the UN Statistical Commission. Representations to this effect were made to the UNESCAP Executive Secretary. He agreed in principle to host such meetings outside the formal conference structure.
These meetings are to be referred to as APEX meetings with AP referring to Asia/Pacific and EX for Excellence in Statistics. The first meeting was known as
The proposed model is similar to that now being used by the Conference of European Statisticians. In order to constrain costs, the proceedings will be in English.
Basically, the main format would be to have a series of seminars on selected topics. The target audience will be heads of National Statistical Offices or their Deputies.
Each seminar would last for two to three hours. Key features would be:
- A chairman would be appointed for each seminar. (This will normally be the organiser.)
- One or two background discussion papers will be prepared and the authors will be asked to give 15-20 minute presentations of the papers. If there is more than one author, they should be chosen to give different perspective (eg user/producer, large country/small country). Sometimes, one of the authors might come from outside the region. Non-invited authors could submit papers on the topic if they have relevant background material but they will not be asked to present the paper.
- A panel of two or three discussants would respond and identify some of the key issues for discussion.
- There would be open discussion from the floor.
- An appointed rapporteur would try to summarise the main conclusions for each seminar and subsequently prepare a one or two page summary for circulation.
A Steering Committee would be appointed to assist with the Scientific Progam.
Secretariat and Other Services
These still need to be finalised for APEX 2. For APEX 1, UNESCAP provided meeting facilities and support for the meeting during session. Attendance was by invitation and UNESCAP issued the invitations. They allowed their website to be used to provide information about the conference and as a repository for discussion papers.
Role of Steering Committee
The main role of the Steering Committee is to determine the content of the scientific program. They will also appoint individual seminar chairmen and make suggestions on authors and discussants.