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The celebration of the first World Statistics Day was jointly organized by UNFPA and the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development in Nay Pyi Taw, the new administrative capital of Myanmar, on 20 October 2010.


On this occasion, His Excellency, U Thurein Zaw, Deputy Minister of National Planning and Economic Development delivered an opening statement. He stated that the Ministry is pleased to jointly organize this event with UNFPA to celebrate the first World Statistics Day designated by the UN General Assembly. His statement focused on the objectives of the World Statistics Day. He underscored the need for awareness on the contribution of the official statistics to social and economic development of the society, and highlighted the achievements of the statistical system in Myanmar. He outlined the activities undertaken by Government departments to collect data by conducting various surveys and the agricultural census. He also stressed that the objective of statistical programmes is to strengthen statistical capacity, improve the quality of data and enhance the credibility of statistics.

Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, UNFPA Representative for Myanmar, read out the message of the UN Secretary General on World Statistics Day on behalf of Mr. Bishow Parajuli, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. He also delivered opening remarks on this occasion. He described the first celebration of World Statistics Day as a historic occasion to recognize the vital role of statistics in social and economic development. He further stated that “The reliability of MDGs indicators depends on collecting, disaggregating and analyzing data according to international standards.”

Furthermore, he stressed that in Myanmar, censuses, surveys, vital statistics and administrative records have been carried out in partnerships with various UN agencies.

His remarks also focused on the challenges that lie ahead, such as the need to undertake a population and housing census and surveys on labour force and migration, while ensuring disaggregation of data by age, sex and localities. He called for the development of a master plan for official statistics to outline data collection activities in the long run, updating the statistics and census laws and strengthening human resources capacity in data collection and analysis. He highlighted the need for continuous dialogue between data users and data producers as a pre- requisite to meeting the needs for data among all stakeholders. “Harmonization of national statistics with international estimates is critical to the credibility and comparability of data sets with those of other countries”, He said. He reiterated the commitment of the UN MDG Monitoring and Evaluation group, chaired by UNFPA in working with the government to address such challenges.

Following the World Statistics Day ceremony, five research papers were presented on statistics. The discussion focused on capacity development for data collection and analysis, the need for wider and timely dissemination and in depth analysis of data, fostering coordination and cooperation between various Government institutions and research centres involved in data collection and the UN MDG Monitoring and Evaluation group through joint programmes and establishment of an integrated data base on MDG indicators.