COHESIVELY ENHANCING CAPACITY OF ASEAN COMMUNITY STATISTICAL SYSTEM TO BE MORE RESPONSIVE TO GREATER DATA NEEDS                                                                                                                                                                           CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF THE ASEAN COMMUNITY STATISTICAL SYSTEM

The Fifth Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System Committee

The Fifth Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System Committee (ACSS5), hosted by Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOS Malaysia), was held on 3-5 November 2015. Datuk Dr. Abdul Rahman Hasan, Chief Statistician of DOS Malaysia chaired the meeting with Dr. Samaychanh Boupha of Lao Statistics Bureau as the co-chair.

The ACSS Committee was adopted as a sectoral body in the ASEAN Charter by the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN in September 2015. The ACSS Committee commits to uphold its role in the ACSS in support of informed and evidence-based decision and policy making in ASEAN.

At the Meeting, the ACSS Committee reaffirmed its mission to produce relevant, timely and comparable statistics towards the vision of a responsive ACSS providing high quality statistics in support of the establishment of the ASEAN Community. The ACSS Committee supported enhancing statistical capacity of the AMS and ASEAN Secretariat to better meet the challenges of a more diverse and more detailed aggregated data requirements as ASEAN integration deepens and as the effective monitoring of regional integration remains paramount.

At the Meeting, the frameworks and institutional mechanisms to further strengthen and enhance the ACSS were established and adopted, including the review and amendment of statistics law in some of the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) and the development and alignment of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics in support of the initiatives in the ACSS Strategic Plan 2016-2025.

The ACSS Committee endorsed the ACSS Strategic Plan 2016-2025 in supporting the call by the Committee of the Whole that all the ASEAN Economic Community sectoral bodies extend their strategic plans to 2025.

In the efforts to promote the visibility and expand the use of ASEAN statistics, the ACSS Committee endorsed the ACSS Communication Strategy.

The Committee achieved the progress in the development of Glossary of Terms for Laymen to be published at the ASEANstats webpage with the expectation to promote greater appreciation, understanding and use of ASEAN statistics among its major regional stakeholders and the data users in general.

Also at the Meeting, the ACSS Committee took note of the efforts of the AMS in furthering the ASEAN-Help-ASEAN initiative in capacity building activities; highly appreciated the support from international organizations and other development partners  in strengthening the statistical system of AMSs as well as in its pursuit of quality and timely ASEAN statistical products and services. The Meeting called for development partners to continue their technical assistance for narrowing development gaps in statistical fields especially in the CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam).

At the end of the Meeting, the ACSS Committee expressed its sincere thanks to the Government of Malaysia, through the DOS Malaysia, for its strong support to the enhancement of ACSS and its warm hospitality and excellent arrangements during this 3-day event, at the same time, welcomed Lao Statistics Bureau as the Chairmanship of the 6th Session of the ACSS Committee in Vientiane, Lao PDR on November 2016.