CARICOM Secretary-General urges regional governments to strengthen statistical departments’ capacity

His Excellency Edwin Carrington

(CARICOM Secretariat, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – As the Region observes the second Caribbean Statistics Day on October 15, 2010 and World Statistics Day on October 20, His Excellency Edwin Carrington, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General is advocating that Caribbean governments resolve to strengthen the capacity of their Central Statistical Offices and the Statistics Departments of other ministries and agencies.

In a message to mark the occasion, Secretary-General Carrington said that statistics was at “the very heart of everything we do,” from deriving data on issues pertaining to population, to the standard of living and the extent of poverty. Therefore, he stated, “it is critical” that governments play a “major role” in strengthening the capacity of their national statistical frameworks.

The CARICOM Secretariat, with the support of the European Union, has planned a slate of activities to mark the occasion including seminars on selected social sectors and on issues pertaining to statistics, demonstrations of the Regional Statistics Online Facilities, exhibition and visual arts presentations, and statistics slogan and jingle competitions involving children and youth from primary and secondary schools.

The Secretary-General said that the observance of Caribbean Statistics Day and World Statistics Day under the theme Celebrating the Many Achievements of Official Statistics, provided “a very valuable opportunity to recognize the crucial role of statistics in laying the foundation for arriving at decisions based on facts, rather than on conjecture.”

Mr. Carrington said that the activities to mark Caribbean Statistics Day and World Statistics Day would not only serve to raise the profile of statistics in the Community, and but also to emphasise the need to encourage decision-makers, researchers and other stakeholders to make use of statistics.

The observance of Caribbean and World Statistics Day seeks to enable a better understanding of this area and to counter the challenges being faced by national statistical offices in their efforts to collect, compile and disseminate statistics. In addition, the observance is aimed at projecting an understanding of the importance of providing information to enable more effective management, good governance and better development outcomes.

Mr. Carrington said that while Statisticians have much celebrate, “there is still a long way to go in the Caribbean Region to inspire the public through the production of high quality and specifically targeted statistical products.”

“I am confident that these continuing series of engagements will contribute to an improvement in the current trend of generally weak statistical infrastructure and an increasing recognition of the critical importance of the role of statistical offices in the Community,” he stated.

The CARICOM Secretary-General took the opportunity to applaud the efforts the Region’s Statisticians in leading the way for statistics to have its rightful place in the Region’s development through “Professionalism, Integrity and Dedication.”

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