Global indicator framework adopted by the ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting (31st Meeting), 6 June 2017

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has unanimously adopted the draft resolution containing the global indicator framework on the SDGs at the 31st meeting of its Coordination and Management Meeting (CMM) and recommended that the resolution be passed to the UN General Assembly. The procedure does not allow for any further changes in the draft resolution, when it goes to the full session OF ECOSOC and therefore the final step to the adoption of the global indicator framework will be taken by the General Assembly.

Agenda Item 18(C)

At the 31st meeting of the CMM, the Chair of the UN Statistical Commission presented the outcome of its 48th Session via audio-link from Brazil.

The UN Statistical Commission celebrated its 70th anniversary during the session, with more than 700 delegates attending the opening session. Its members had worked tirelessly to make data available around the world and to serve the global community with their technical knowledge and expertise, including in consensus taking and national accounts.

The broad scope of 2030 Agenda and SDGs calls for an unprecedented amount of data and statistics to measure process, and in this context the Commission was given its biggest challenge to develop the global indicator framework. Most of the work on the framework was done by the IAEG-SDGs, comprising 28 senior national indicator specialists from all regions. At its March session, the global indicator framework was adopted, providing a structure for all aspects of the goals and targets to be included in the UN Secretary-General’s annual report.

The framework is included in the draft resolution that was before the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for adoption (See report of Statistical Commission E/2017/24-E/CN.3/2017/35). The draft resolution will next be passed to the UN General Assembly for final adoption. In addition to the framework, it outlines specific areas of work for the IAEG-SDGs and criteria for refining indicators. The group will work to improve the global indicator framework through minor annual refinements and two comprehensive reviews in 2020 and 2025. The draft resolution also focuses on statistical capacity building needs to allow national statistical systems to address fully the 2030 Agenda such as producing the necessary data, including the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data, developed by the High-level Group High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB). The Plan was launched at the first World Date Forum in January and endorsed by the Commission in March. It calls for a commitment by governments etc to take key actions for the implementation process to ensure that NOLB which calls for expanding and strengthening data on all groups of populations and represents one of the strategic objectives of the Plan.

The Statistical Commission’s regular and ongoing work on standards and methodology must continue with increased intensity and commitment. Decisions are also included in its report on such issues as quality assurance, big data, geospatial information social statistics, national accounts etc.

During the discussion on this agenda item, the following comments were made:

Cuba emphasized the work of the IAEG-SDGs and urged them to continue to streamline the framework. It stressed the priority being given to refining the indicators, respecting the priorities of each country and the different realities, safeguarding the main role of the national statistical offices. The indicators in some cases do not cover the many aspects of some of the targets. Cuba specifically referred to indicator 3.5.2, (also highlighted at the ECOSOC CMM in 2016). This indicator should be submitted for consideration in 2020.

Mexico recognized the technical and political support of all Member States to achieve the global indicator framework for SDGs and thanked the IAEG-SDGs for its hard work, saying that the framework will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and that the national capacity will be strengthened. Mexico will continue to work, particularly with the more vulnerable countries in the region.

The Council adopted the draft resolution and recommended that it be passed to the General Assembly for adoption.

US, speaking after adoption, said it was pleased to join the consensus. As many of the targets described are ambitious and have not be comprehensively measured in the past, they are still “work in progress” and the US is therefore pleased that the IAEG-SDGs has agreed to a process for further refinement and review. Many indicators, even in reporting, contain serious weaknesses. Some concerns remain unresolved and it is ready to engage on them at any time. The US reserves the right to provide further comments at a later date, as many of its policies are under review and development.

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