Ghulam M. Isaczai's remark at the High-level Seminar on Statistics

Dear Mr. Ali Ahmadov, Deputy Prime Minister

Dear Mr. Tahir Budagov, Chairman of the State Statistics Committee

Dear MrAshish Kumar, Director of UN Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (UN SIAP)

Thank you for inviting me to join this sub-regional Workshop on Data and Statistics for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for High-Level Official Statisticians (workshop includes heads and representatives of the National Statistical Offices from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).

This workshop presents an excellent opportunity for all of us – statisticians, policy makers, development practitioners, international organization representatives, – to explore ways to further strengthen the statistical capacities and exchange experiences in building a comprehensive and robust system to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals.

Good data and statistics are indispensable for informed decision-making by all actors in society. As countries and organizations embark on implementing the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reliable and timely statistics and indicators are more important than ever.

However, the monitoring requirements for the success of the Sustainable Development Goals pose a significant challenge to even the most developed countries.  There is a need to tap into the potential of new technology and alternative data sources. There is a need to mobilize contributions and expertise of data producers and users from all segments of the society –  the government, academia, the private sector and civil society. This, in turn, requires a strong coordination mechanism to steer efforts of all stakeholders.

In this regard, the UN welcomes the decision of His Excellency President lham Aliyev to establish a National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ali Ahmadov. The Council is leading the country’s voluntary reporting to the High Level Political Forum in July 2017. This shows a serious commitment from the government side to adhere to the global development Agenda 2030.

UNDP is supporting the work of the government by providing policy advice, capacity building and technical expertise to accelerate SDG nationalizing process. UNDP is also partnering with the State Statistics Committee, to establish an SDG portal as a monitoring tool to track national progress towards SDGs.

In this regards an SDG Dashboard could serve as an innovative monitoring tool for the NCCSD and how Azerbaijan can leverage its existing statistical capacities to utilize new data sources for more timely and rapid monitoring of SDGs, including appropriate disaggregation of data;

Given the growing emphasis that the Government of Azerbaijan puts on advancing sustainable development agenda, and as I speak, the UNCT has deployed to Azerbaijan a high-level mission of senior UN staff and technical experts, a so-called MAPS mission. The mission will hold consultation with all stakeholders including the NCCSD, line ministries, parliamentarians, CSO, academia and the private sector throughout this week to put together an SDGs achievement roadmap including mainstreaming SDGs into the national development strategies and plans, monitoring frameworks and budgetary processes.

I would like to wish the participants a productive discussion and a successful workshop.

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