Ankara (UNA-OIC) – The Seventh Session of the Statistical Commission of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC-StatCom) was held on May 2-3 in Ankara, Turkey. The meeting was organized by SESRIC in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Suhariyanto, chief statistician of BPS-Statistics Indonesia, current chair of the Bureau of the OIC StatCom, underlined that the sessions of OIC-StatCom are a strategic place to evaluate the activities and to address the challenges of OIC countries in statistical areas. He said that BPS-Statistics Indonesia currently tries to implement quality assurance framework and modernization of the statistical systems.

In his speech, Director General of SESRIC Ambassador Musa Kulaklikaya stated that the seventh session coincides with the occasion of 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the center. He also underlined that the value of statistics is best understood when these sound policies based on high-quality data lead to development outcomes and life-saving results. Thus, National Statistical Systems (NSSs) deserve continuous and increasing allocation of financial, technological and human resources. Also, his excellency touched upon the main discussion items of the seventh session including population and housing censuses, migration statistics, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators, and strategic vision 2030 of OIC-StatCom.

The message of the Secretary General of the OIC Dr. Yousef AL-Othaimeen was delivered by Nabil Dabour, assistant director general of SESRIC. Praising the role of OIC-StatCom on facilitating the cooperation among the OIC countries on statistics, Dr. Al-Othaimeen highlighted that OIC plan of action 2025 with an agreed agenda for actions by OIC countries on a wide spectrum of socio-economic fields ranging from trade to health requires high-quality data, and this will pose serious challenges in many OIC countries. In this regard, OIC-StatCom shoulders a significant role in facilitating the discussions on strengthening national statistical capacities.

The opening session continued with the remarks of Ousmane SECK, manager at IDB. In his speech, he covered several issues regarding recent global economic developments and also mentioned about internal reforms of IDB to better serve to member countries.

Following-up the welcoming remarks, the election of the members of the Bureau for the seventh and eighth sessions was held, and Malaysia was elected as the Chair; Turkey and Tunisia were elected as the vice chairs; Uganda and Palestine became the new rapporteurs.

The seventh session considered and reviewed the activities of the OIC-StatCom secretariat undertaken since its sixth session. Additionally, the representatives of NGOs and international agencies delivered enlightening presentations on the following topics and discussed the possible cooperation schemes in the respective areas:

o Improvement of Census Conduct and Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems (CRVS) for the 2020 round of population and housing censuses.

o Enhancing the production, dissemination, and use of migration statistics; and

o Prioritization and measurement of SDG indicators and their reconciliation and ownership at the national level.

The participation in the seventh session were 69 delegates from the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of 31 OIC countries. Including Albania, Azerbaijan, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uganda and Uzbekistan and regional and international organizations including SESRIC, IDB, Sub-Saharan African Organisation for the Development of Economic Studies and Statistics Systems (AFRISTAT), Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics (AITRS), Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-STAT), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).

Source: International Islamic News Agency