Samoa elected to U.N. Statistical Commission

Samoa has joined the United Nations Statistical Commission to become the only Pacific islands state on the U.N. body.

The Government Statistician with the Samoa Bureau of Statistics [S.B.S.], Ali’imuamua Malaefono Taua, confirmed the election of Samoa to the international body in an interview with the Samoa Observer.

She said the country was elected to the commission on 14 September this year when the election was held during a United Nations Economic and Social Council session.

“This is the first time Samoa has become a member and we were fortunate to be elected,” said Aliimuamua.

Japan and Samoa obtained the majority of votes required to be elected to fill the vacant seats within the Asia Pacific Group, and join Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

As the new members of the commission, Japan and SAmoa have a term of four years starting from 1 January 2021 to 2024. 

The country will be represented on the commission by Ali’imuamua, who has over 30 years of work experience in statistical services. 

The commission consists of 24 member countries of the United Nations elected from the five regional groupings of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin America and Caribbean, Western European and other states. 

It was established in 1947 and is the highest body of the global statistical system made up of chief Statisticians from member states around the world.

The commission oversees the work of the United Nations Statistics Division [U.N.S.D.], and is a functional commission of the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

Explaining the role of the commission and its link to the S.B.S., Aliimuamua said the role of the bureau is to make sure they collect data that is trusted and will help the Government in terms of policy and decision making.

“And also for national planning, we produce data and give it to our ministries and partners to help us with the analysis of the data.

“Some of the key achievements we have managed to have is IT and with technology we have managed to step away from manual questionnaires to using tablets. We also use WiFi to sink in data from the field.

“It also lessens some of the manual work but it has created more job opportunities for the younger generation because they are very good at using the new devices nowadays.”

Aliimuamua added that in Samoa they have been able to maintain the frequency of collecting data every five years through the population and housing census.

“We also have monthly and quarterly reports, if we keep doing that it is a major achievement compared to our neighbouring countries, they are not able to because there is not enough financial support from the Government or even their partners,” she said.

“With us we managed to engage a lot of partners from the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., U.N.E.S.C.O., U.N.I.C.E.F. and all different organisations.

“Usually the Government will partly fund some of them and the technical difficulties. Another achievement is going out and working with our statistical partners because we realised that we cannot work on our own.”

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