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The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), formerly the United Nations Statistical Office,serves under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as the central mechanism within the Secretariat of the United Nations to supply the statistical needs and coordinating activities of the global statistical system. The Division is overseen by the United Nations Statistical Commission, established in 1947, as the apex entity of the global statistical system and highest decision making body for coordinating international statistical activities. It brings together the Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges. It supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. In providing a broad range of analytical products, policy advice, and technical assistance, UN DESA effectively translates global commitments in the economic, social and environmental spheres into national policies and actions and continues to play a key role in monitoring progress towards internationally agreed-upon development goals. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
The United Nations Statistical Commission (StatCom) is a Functional Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council established in 1946. It oversees the work of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Its 24 member states are elected by the Economic and Social Council on the basis of the following geographical distribution: African states (5), Asian States (4), Eastern European States (4), Latin American and Caribbean States (4), Western European and other States (7). Since July 1999 the Commission meets every year. As set forth by the Economic and Social Council, in the terms of reference, the Commission shall assist the Council:
The Division compiles and disseminates global statistical information, develops standards and norms for statistical activities, and supports countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems.
The Division regularly publishes data updates, including the Statistical Yearbook and World Statistics Pocketbook, and books and reports on statistics and statistical methods. Many of the Division's databases are also available at its site (See below), as electronic publications and data files in the form of CD-ROMs, diskettes and magnetic tapes, or as printed publications. UNdata, a new internet-based data service for the global user community brings UN Statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point. Users can search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system.
UNdata is an Internet search engine, retrieving data series from statistical databases provided by the UN System. UNdata was launched in February 2008. It is a product of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) developed in partnership with Statistics Sweden and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
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Including acting directors:
|Stefan Schweinfest||1 July 2014 – present|
|Stefan Schweinfest (acting)||April 2013 – 30 June 2014|
|Willem de Vries (acting)||2002–2004|
|Patrick J. Loftus||1962–1972|
|William R. Leonard||1948–1962|
Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) is a classification defined by the United Nations Statistics Division. These functions are designed to be general enough to apply to the government of different countries. The accounts of each country in the United Nations are presented under these categories. The value of this is that the accounts of different countries can be compared.
The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) is a United Nations industry classification system. Wide use has been made of ISIC in classifying data according to kind of economic activity in the fields of employment and health data.
The United Nations geoscheme is a system which divides the countries of the world into regional and subregional groups. It was devised by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) based on the M49 coding classification.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organisation, specifically in regards to the 15 specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) is one of the five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was established in order to promote economic cooperation and integrations among its Member States.
The United Nations Secretariat is one of the six major organs of the United Nations, with the others being (a) the General Assembly; (b) the Security Council; (c) the Economic and Social Council; (d) the defunct Trusteeship Council; and (e) the International Court of Justice. The Secretariat is the United Nations' executive arm. The Secretariat has an important role in setting the agenda for the UN's deliberative and decision making bodies of the UN, and the implementation of the decision of these bodies. The Secretary-General, who is appointed by the General Assembly, is the head of the secretariat.
The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is a list of developing countries that, according to the United Nations, exhibit the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, with the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all countries in the world. The concept of LDCs originated in the late 1960s and the first group of LDCs was listed by the UN in its resolution 2768 (XXVI) of 18 November 1971.
Economic data or economic statistics are data describing an actual economy, past or present. These are typically found in time-series form, that is, covering more than one time period or in cross-sectional data in one time period. Data may also be collected from surveys of for example individuals and firms or aggregated to sectors and industries of a single economy or for the international economy. A collection of such data in table form comprises a data set.
The System of National Accounts is an international standard system of national accounts, the first international standard being published in 1953. Handbooks have been released for the 1968 revision, the 1993 revision, and the 2008 revision. The System of National Accounts, in its various released versions, frequently with significant local adaptations, has been adopted by many nations. It continues to evolve and is maintained by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Statistical Office of the European Communities
Sir Harry Campion, KCB, CBE was a British statistician and the first director of what was the Central Statistical Office of the United Kingdom. He was also first director of the United Nations Statistical Office. He played a leading role in the development of official statistics, nationally and internationally, after the Second World War.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), previously the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), is a consortium of 36 United Nations funds, programs, specialized agencies, departments and offices that play a role in development. It was created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in order to improve the effectiveness of United Nations development activities at the country level.
Official statistics are statistics published by government agencies or other public bodies such as international organizations as a public good. They provide quantitative or qualitative information on all major areas of citizens' lives, such as economic and social development, living conditions, health, education, and the environment.
Product classification or product taxonomy is a type of economic taxonomy which organizes products for a variety of purposes. However, not only products can be referred to in a standardized way but also sales practices in form of the “Incoterms” and industries can be classified into categories.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is the statistical office of UNESCO and is the UN depository for cross-nationally comparable statistics on education, science and technology, culture, and communication.
Water accounting is a discipline that seeks to provide comprehensive, consistent and comparable policy relevant information related to water. Based on the experience of more than fifty years of national accounts, the discipline that provides the elements to calculate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) developed the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting for Water (SEEA-Water), which has been adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) as a statistical interim standard in 2007.
System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) is a framework to compile statistics linking environmental statistics to economic statistics. SEEA is described as a satellite system to the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA). This means that the definitions, guidelines and practical approaches of the SNA are applied to the SEEA. This system enables environmental statistics to be compared to economic statistics as the system boundaries are the same after some processing of the input statistics. By analysing statistics on the economy and the environment at the same time it is possible to show different patterns of sustainability for production and consumption. It can also show the economic consequences of maintaining a certain environmental standard.
The Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) is composed of international and supranational organisations, whose mandate includes the provision of statistics. The CCSA promotes inter-agency coordination and cooperation on statistical programmes and consistency in statistical practices and development. As a forum of committed members, the CCSA fosters good practices in the statistical activities of international and supranational organisations, in accordance with the principles governing international statistical activities. The members of the CCSA contribute actively to the development of a coordinated global statistical system producing and disseminating high-quality statistics.