India Begins Four-Year Term as UN Statistical Commission Member
India started its four-year term as a member of the United Nations Statistical Commission. The country had won the election to the global statistics body in April after a gap of nearly two decades.
GS-02 (Government Policies & Interventions, Bilateral Agreements)
- India’s Return to UNSC: India commenced its four-year term as a member of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), marking its return after a two-decade absence.
- Unanimous Election in 2023: India was unanimously elected in April 2023 to join the commission, effective from January 1, 2024, playing a pivotal role in shaping statistical standards globally.
- Key Role in Setting Standards: India, among 24 other members, will actively contribute to determining statistical standards, developing concepts and methods, and implementing them at both national and international levels.
- Global Youth Leadership: India’s membership is significant, especially as a global youth leader, coinciding with efforts to establish a comprehensive database under the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Historical Leadership: Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and V.R. Rao, Indian representatives, chaired the commission in 1954, 1956, and 1976, underlining India’s historical involvement in shaping global statistical frameworks.
- Crucial Agenda – 2025 SNA: India’s participation is crucial in finalizing and implementing the 2025 System of National Accounts (SNA), a vital aspect in updating and aligning national income estimates globally. Issues include measuring economic activities in developing countries and addressing challenges like unpaid work, digitalization, human well-being, and climate change impact.
United Nations Statistical Commission:
- Established in 1947 and headquartered in New York, the United Nations Statistical Commission stands as the paramount body within the global statistical system.
- This commission convenes Chief Statisticians from member states worldwide, fostering collaboration and uniformity in statistical endeavors.
- Serving as the highest decision-making entity for international statistical activities, it bears the responsibility of establishing statistical standards and developing concepts and methods, ensuring their implementation on both national and international fronts.
- As a Functional Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council, the Statistical Commission oversees the operations of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).
- Decision-Making Authority: The commission holds the highest decision-making authority for international statistical endeavors.
- Standard Setting: It is entrusted with setting global statistical standards and advancing methodologies.
- Implementation Oversight: The commission ensures the application of statistical concepts and methods at both national and international levels.
The Commission comprises 24 member countries elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The composition adheres to an equitable geographical distribution pattern, including:
- Five members from African States
- Four members from Asia-Pacific States
- Four members from Eastern European States
- Four members from Latin American and Caribbean States
- Seven members from Western European and other States
The term of office for members is four years. Notably, India, after a hiatus of two decades, is returning to the UN agency, having last been a member of the Statistical Commission in 2004.