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U.N. Statistics Division


Secretary-General launches The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016

On 1 January 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the transformative plan of action based on 17 Sustainable Development Goals—to address urgent global challenges over the next 15 years.

This agenda is a road map for people and the planet that will build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals and ensure sustainable social and economic progress worldwide. It seeks not only to eradicate extreme poverty, but also to integrate and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development—economic, social and environmental—in a comprehensive global vision.

It is vital that we begin implementation with a sense of opportunity and purpose based on an accurate evaluation of where the world stands now.

That is the aim of this report. It presents an overview of the 17 Goals using data currently available to highlight the most significant gaps and challenges.

The latest data show that about one in eight people still lived in extreme poverty, nearly 800 million people suffered from hunger, the births of nearly a quarter of children under 5 had not been recorded, 1.1 billion people were living without electricity, and water scarcity affected more than 2 billion people.

These statistics show how important coordinated global data-generation efforts will be in supplying reliable and timely data for systematic follow-up and progress reviews.

The Goals apply to all societies. Even the wealthiest countries have yet to fully empower women or eliminate discrimination.All nations will need to build the Sustainable Development Goals into their national policies and plans if we are to achieve them.

This first report is a starting point. With collective global action, we can seize the opportunities before us and, together,fulfill the pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.

what it has data about: trade, poverty, environment, economic, and much more.

Environmental-Economic Accounts

Environmental-economic accounts provide the conceptual framework for integrated statistics on the environment and its relationship with the economy, including the impacts of the economy on the environment and the contribution of the environment to the economy. A coherent set of indicators and Image result Image result for Environmental-Economic Accountsfor Environmental-Economic Accountsdescriptive statistics can be derived from the accounts that inform a wide range of policies, including, but not limited to, green economy/green growth, natural resource management and sustainable development.The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) contains the internationally agreed standard concepts, definitions, classifications, accounting rules and tables for producing internationally comparable statistics on the environment and its relationship with the economy. The SEEA is a flexible system in the sense that its implementation can be adapted to countries’ specific situations and priorities.Coordination of the implementation of the SEEA and on-going work on new methodological developments is managed and supervised by the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA). The Environmental-Economic Accounts Section of UNSD is the Secretariat to the UNCEEA.

International Work Session on Water Statistics

With the renewed focus on water issues following the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, the Intersecretariat Working Group on Environment Statistics, together with FAO and the World Water Assessment Programme, agreed that there was an urgent need to review a number of issues related to water statistics, from the need for data through to the obstacles faced by countries when completing the questionnaires.Image result for International Work Session on Water Statistics

TImage result for International Work Session on Water Statisticshe Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) in Austria offered to host an International Work Session to bring together international water data users and data collection bodies, and a cross-section of countries from all regions, to look at these issues in depth. This Work Session was held in Vienna on 20-22 June 2005. To allow a real discussion of the issues, country participation was restricted to countries that are active in the area of water data collection: see participants list.

The Work Session was organised in nine sessions (see agenda), each focusing on a different aspect of water statistics covering the need for water statistics, water statistics collected by international organizations, water accounting, and information on water resources, supply and use, waste water generation and treatment, water quality and emissions of pollutants to water, and water pricing and environmental expenditure on water. The topics were discussed on the basis of 35 working papersprepared and presented by participants from countries and international organisations. The report of the Work Session is now available.

what time periods it covers:established in 1947; Statistics Division effective 1 July 2014.

what geographical area it covers: mostly in south African, but it also included international section.

who collected it: this website and 

How they collected it:

The Statistics Division’s main functions are:

  1. the collection, processing and dissemination of statistical information;
  2. the standardization of statistical methods, classifications and definitions;
  3. the technical cooperation programmer; and
  4. the coordination of international statistical programmers and activities.

how they present it: 

  • provides a global centre for data on international trade, national accounts, energy, industry, environment and demographic and social statistics gathered from national
    and international sources
  • promotes international standards of methods, classifications and definitions used by national agencies
  • assists Member States, at their request, to improve their statistical services by giving advice and training
  • coordinates international statistical programmes and activities entrusted to the Division by the United Nations Statistical Commission and the Committee for the Coordination
    of Statistical Activities (CCSA)
  • provides input and secretarial support to the United Nations Statistical Commission
  • facilitates the monitoring of progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by leading the Interagency and Expert Group on MDG indicators and maintaining the global MDG indicator database
  • promotes modern surveying and mapping techniques as a tool for growth and development
  • Unemployment

    Unemployment generally represents the total number of persons wholly unemployed and temporarily laid-off. The data are derived from (a) labour force sample Image result for Unemploymentsurveys, (b) employment office statistics, (c) official estimates and (d) insurance records. In using these series, consideration should be given to the source of the data. In general, the figures relating to percentage unemployed are calculated by expressing the number of unemployed in a given period as a percentage of the total number of employed and unemployed persons in the group considered during the same period.



Data collection

At the request of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) and its Working Group on International Programmes and Coordination, the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) embarked on the collection of environmental data from national statistical offices in 1999. The data collection was repeated in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, and is currently being undertaken in 2016 for an eighth round. A full analysis of the results of the 2001 data collection efforts for a set of environmental variables is given in a Report of the Secretary-General on Environment Statistics (E/CN.3/2003/19) to the 34th session of the UNSC which was held in 2003 in New York. The UNSC supported and approved the programme for data collection outlined in the report.

The data collection was joined by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2004 and has been established on a biennial basis as part of UNSD’s regular data collection programme. The Questionnaire is sent to the national statistical offices as well as to the ministries/agencies responsible for environmental matters.

In the 1999, 2001 and 2004 data collection rounds, UNSD obtained data on air, land, waste and water, but in harmonizing with other international data collections, as of 2006, the UNSD has collected data solely on waste and water. This arrangement has allowed UNSD to focus its limited resources on relevant specific themes and to avoid duplication on selected tables. A Background Document to the Report of the Secretary-General on Environment Statistics (E/CN.3/2016/27) for the 47th session of the UNSC which was held in New York in 2016 provides a more detailed summary of the progress in the collection of environment statistics carried out by the UNSD in the context of increasing demand for environment statistics needed for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.