| 1. At its tenth session the Committee on Statistics considered the draft provisional agenda for its 1998 meeting on the basis of a secretariat note. It decided that the provisional agenda should include as item 3 "Implementation of recommendations of the Committee at its ninth and tenth sessions" and that the report of the Bureau and the report of the Working Group of Statistical Experts should become items 4 and 5, respectively. The Committee acknowledged the value of country papers prepared for the Committee session and encouraged the continuation of that practice. It was suggested, however, that oral presentation of country statements might be discontinued and that the question should be examined further by the Bureau. It was proposed that gender statistics, environment statistics and economic statistics should also be included on the agenda, along with issues that would be taken up by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 1999 session. The Committee held the view that the provisional agenda could be finalized in due course, and it encouraged countries to submit comments to the Bureau of the Committee for its deliberation.
2. The Committee had been working on the assumption that its eleventh session, like the three previous ones, would be of five days' duration. However, the ESCAP Commission at its fifty-third session earlier this year decided that all sessions of its subsidiary bodies should not be longer than three days. This decision obviously has an impact on the number of topics that the Committee can sensibly cover, and the secretariat has been consulting the Bureau on the effect this might have on the agenda for the Working Group of Statistical Experts, which the Committee had asked the Bureau to decide on. As a result, some topics which the Committee had envisaged would be on its own agenda are being taken up by the Working Group itself -- items such as population and housing censuses, gender statistics and some fields of economic statistics. This does not mean that these topics will not be taken up by the Committee at all, since the Working Group's report will be before the Committee. More generally, the Bureau will be discussing the relative roles and functions of the Committee, Working Group and the Bureau itself in its meeting on 10 November.
3. With regard to the issues to be taken up by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its next session in 1999, the provisional agenda and the documentation envisaged for that thirtieth session, as of now, is attached as an annex to this paper. The main areas on that agenda which do not appear to be covered by the draft suggested by the Committee or taken up already by the Working Group of Statistical Experts are: classifications, technical cooperation, some elements of coordination and integration of international statistical programmes, and certain areas of economic statistics not specifically mentioned, such as international trade statistics, the International Comparison Programme, and services statistics. The Bureau and Working Group will need to take these items into account, and the Bureau will eventually have to factor in any changes to the Statistical Commission's agenda introduced by the Working Group on International Statistical Programmes and Coordination, which meets in February 1998; however, to avoid an apparently impossibly long list, the secretariat has not included these items in the draft Committee agenda which follows.
4. Taking the above into account, the following is an outline of a draft provisional agenda for the Committee's eleventh session, for review by the Bureau under its terms of reference, and subsequently by the Working Group of Statistical Experts:
- Opening of the session
- Adoption of the agend
- Implementation of recommendations of the Committee at its ninth and tenth sessions
- Report of the Bureau
- Report of the Working Group of Statistical Experts
- Review of statistical activities in the region
- Matters arising from and inputs to sessions of the ESCAP Commission, the Statistical Commission and major global and regional meetings
- Statistical development challenges at the turn of the century:
- Monitoring achievements on key social and economic issues;
- Information resource management: successes and challenges;
- Environment statistics;
- Selected areas of economic statistics
- Issues relating to the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific, including the reports of the Governing Board
- Issues relating to information technology applications:
- In the national statistical service;
- In the public sector
- Programmes of work in statistics:
- Programme changes, 1998-1999;
- Draft work programme, 2000-2001
- Other matters
- Election of the Bureau
- Adoption of the report
5. There is no specific item above on the question of the duration of Committee sessions, although some Bureau members have mentioned that it should be discussed; presumably it could be taken up under the report of the Bureau or of the Working Group. Even without such an item, and given that some items can probably be dealt with fairly quickly, the above appears to be a heavy agenda for a three-day meeting. The Bureau and Working Group will need to judge how much can fruitfully be handled by the Committee, no doubt bearing in mind the Chairman's suggestion that the Committee should tackle only strategic issues.
Provisional agenda and documentation for the thirtieth session of the Statistical Commission
- Election of officers.
- Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.
- Provisional agenda and annotations
- Note by the Secretariat on the organization of the work of the session
- Note by the Secretariat on the state of preparation of documentation for the session
3. International trade statistics.
- Report of the Task Force on International Trade Statistics
4. International economic and social classifications.
- Report of the Secretary-General on international economic and social classifications
5. Statistical implications of recent major United Nations conferences.
- Report of the Secretary-General on implementation and use of the Minimum National Social Data Set
- Report on the seminar on poverty statistics, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with other regional commissions
6. Aspects of economic statistics.
- Reports of the groups carrying out work on various aspects of economic statistics, including evaluation of the International Comparison Programme
7. Environment statistics.
- Report of the Task Force on Environment Statistics
8. Service statistics.
- Report of the Task Force on Service Statistics<
9. National accounts
- Report of the Task Force on National Accounts
- Draft classification of individual consumption by purpose Draft classification of the functions of government
- Draft classification of the purposes of the non-profit institutions serving households
- Draft classification of outlays of producers by purpose
10. Finance statistics.
- Report of the Task Force on Finance Statistics
11. Technical cooperation.
- Report on the initiative to develop best practices and other issues
12. Coordination and integration of international statistical programmes.
13. Programme questions and related matters.
- Report of the Working Group on International Statistical Programmes and Coordination on its nineteenth session
- Report of the Administrative Committee on Coordination Subcommittee on Statistical Activities on its thirty-first and thirty-second sessions
- Report of the special ad hoc group on the structure and operation of the Statistical Commission Report on an integrated presentation of statistical work of the international organizations
- Draft programme of work of the Statistics Division of the United Nations for the biennium 2000-2001
- Proposals concerning the medium-term plan for statistics
14. Provisional agenda and dates for the thirty-first session of the Commission.
15. Report of the Commission on its thirtieth session.