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 Seventh Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) Committee

The Seventh Session of the ACSS Committee, hosted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), was held from 11 to 13 October 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Session was chaired by Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, Undersecretary, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General. Ms. Wong Wee Kim, Chief Statistician, Singapore Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry, served as Co-chairperson.

The Heads of the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of the ASEAN Member States that are also members of the ACSS Committee reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance the regional statistical cooperation among the ASEAN Member States, and to respond proactively to emerging statistical requirements from the implementation of ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

2017 recorded the remarkable achievements of the ACSS: In pursuit of the ACSS Vision of “a responsive ASEAN Community Statistical System providing high quality statistics”, the ACSS Committee implemented the second self-assessment of the ACSS Code of Practice (CoP) for Section A-Institutional Environment at the NSO level in 2017, following the first assessment in 2015. The such assessment is regularly conducted to ensure compliance of key principles of CoP Section A, in terms of mandate for data collection, professionalism and integrity, confidentiality, accountability, statistical cooperation and coordination.

In an effort to ensure good governance and accountability, and in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework, the ACSS Committee adopted the Monitoring and Evaluation System of the ACSS Strategic Plan 2016-2025, containing key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and monitor the outcomes of regional cooperation in building robust statistical systems at both regional and national levels.

The ASEAN Member States (AMSs) made efforts to further strengthen statistical cooperation at the national level.

In response to greater ASEAN data needs, the ACSS Committee supported the continuing initiatives of the Working Groups on International Merchandise Trade Statistics (WGIMTS), International Investment Statistics (WGIIS), and Statistics of International Trade in Services (WGSITS), to comply with internationally agreed frameworks in the harmonization of ASEAN statistics, and the implementation of the ACSS Code of Practice Assessment Measures for Section BStatistical Process and Section C-Statistical Output.

In 2017, the 1st Meeting of the Working Group on the System of National Accounts (WGSNA1) was held, and the ACSS Committee endorsed the WGSNA’s proposal on the ASEAN’s 2008 SNA Implementation Roadmap 2018-2025 and its 2025 targets for the 2008 SNA implementation compliance, to improve the scope, quality and comparability of the national accounts and support economic statistics in ASEAN.

As a show of the ACSS Committee’s commitment to the global call for monitoring the effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators (WGSDGI) was established, with the aim to address the statistical requirements in monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the SDGs in the AMSs, and the region’s position at the global level, particularly for discussing the development of ASEAN SDG indicators, including the implementation roadmap and work plan.

On 8 August 2017, three landmark publications by ASEANstats were launched to celebrate the ASEAN golden jubilee, including: Celebrating ASEAN: 50 Years of Evolution and Progress, the ASEAN Statistical Report on Millennium Development Goals, and the ASEAN Community Progress Monitoring System (ACPMS) 2017 Report.

In an attempt to bridge the gaps in ASEAN statistics, the ACSS Committee embarked on the development of the ASEAN Statistical Training/Capacity Building Strategy to identify the needs and capacities of the National Statistical Systems within the framework of ASEAN-Help-ASEAN cooperation to complement the programs of international institutions and donor-projects.

In conclusion of the Session, the ACSS Committee expressed its sincere gratitude to the Government of the Philippines, through the Philippine Statistics Authority, for its excellent chairmanship, warm hospitality and excellent arrangements of the Seventh Session of the ACSS Committee, at the same time, welcomed the Chairmanship of the Singapore Department of Statistics of the ACSS Committee in 2018.