REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. DAVID VERA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS AND CENSUSES OF ECUADOR, AT THE 48TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS STATISTICAL COMMISSION (New York, 7 March 2017)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, let me congratulate Brazil for the election for the presidency of the United Nations Statistical Commission.
We welcome the 48th session of the UNSC during its 70th anniversary. It is also significant that the proposed adoption of the set of global indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals would represent a major step in fulfilling the mandate of the paragraph 75 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Group would like to commend the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) for its hard and productive work in of defining global indicators for the 169 targets of the SDGs.
G77 would also like to commend the work of the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development We cannot overstate the importance of capacity building for the follow up and review of the 2030 Development Agenda.
The Group would like to reaffirm in its entirety the principles reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and that the follow-up and review process should be voluntary and country-led, will take into account different national realities, levels of development and will respect policy space and priorities, underlining that national ownership is key to achieving sustainable development, given that the global review will be primarily based on national official data sources.
We would also like to express appreciation to the United Nations Statistics Division for holding several briefings for Member States and the civil society, including our membership, on the progress of work on the global indicator framework and encourage much needed dialogues between the statistical and political communities.
Developing the global indicator framework is a process subject to scheduled refinement and revision, as appropriate. The global indicator framework is of considerable importance to facilitate the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda especially at the global level. The annual progress report on the SDGs to be prepared by the Secretary-General in cooperation with the United Nations system will be based on the global indicator framework and data produced by national statistical systems as well as regional reviews if appropriate. Quality disaggregated, reliable and timely data will be needed to help with the measurement of progress beyond GDP and to ensure that no one is left behind.
In this vein, mindful of the technical nature of the development of the global indicators, which should continue to be led by the national Statistical Offices, and the need to safeguard the integrality, political balance and ambition of the 2030 Agenda, we would like to commend the processes of refinement and revision defined by the IAEG for the proposed indicators. We understand that the yearly refinement process and the two comprehensive reviews of the set of global SDGs indicators reflect the need to constantly adapt the set of indicators presented for the Statistical Commission to take action on.
The work of the IAEG-SDGs must be accompanied by capacity-building efforts to strengthen statistical capacities at national and sub-national levels. Data gaps and related priorities for capacity-building in data development in relation to SDGs indicators must be discussed. We are pleased that the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is tasked to promote national ownership of the post-2015 monitoring system and foster statistical capacity-building, partnership and coordination. In this regard, the Group would like to stress the importance of capacity-building efforts in developing countries, particularly African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, Small Island Developing States, middle income countries, countries in conflict and post-conflict situations and countries and peoples under foreign occupation. We see the necessity to a coordinated effort in the United Nations System to enhance and sustain statistical capacity in developing countries.
The outcome of the IAEG-SDGs is a continuous work. This key understanding needs to be captured in the conclusion of the Statistical Commission so as to ensure clarity in the political processes at the level of ECOSOC and General Assembly.
The Group will follow the work ahead of the IAEG-SDGs on the global indicator framework with great interest. We look forward to learning the results of the discussions during the fifth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs in Ottawa, Canada from 28 to 31 March 2017, especially regarding the updated Tier classification, the review Tier III work plans and proposals for new concepts and definitions and, on Data Disaggregation, the work plan and the harmonization of categories for data disaggregation for the global indicators.
It is important to emphasize that the proposed indicators are for reviews at the global level and may not necessarily be applicable to all national contexts. National ownership for Member States' own national process is absolutely critical. As noted in the 2030 Agenda, targets are defined as aspirational and global, with each Government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition, but taking into account national circumstances. We must remember that the 2030 Agenda states that each government will decide how these aspirational and global targets should be incorporated in national planning processes, policies, and strategies.
Global indicators will be complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels to be developed by Member States, in line with the principles defined in the 2030 Agenda. The Group would like to reiterate that the indicator frameworks will be voluntary and country led, will take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and will respect policy space and priorities. As national ownership is key to achieving sustainable development, the outcome from national-level processes will be the foundation for reviews at the regional and global levels, given that the global review will be primarily based on national official data sources.
These are our views on the development of the global indicator framework undertaken by the IAEG-SDGs. The Group of 77 and China would like to wish the Statistical Commission a productive and fruitful session this week. Please rest assured that we will support the work of the Statistical Commission and the challenging, yet inspiring, work plan for the implementation of the global indicator framework.
I thank you.