UN Secretariat Reports on SDG Indicators Work
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Reports submitted for discussion at the 48th session of the UN Statistical Commission provide updates on the work of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators, the High Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Secretariat's work on reviewing progress towards the SDGs.

UNSC 48 will meet from 7-10 March 2017, in New York, US.

December 2016: UN offices working on data and indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have submitted three reports for discussion at the 48th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC 48). The reports provide updates on the work of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and the High Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB). In addition, a report of the UN Secretary-General discusses the Secretariat’s work on reviewing progress towards the SDGs.

The report of the IAEG-SDGs (E/CN.3/2017/2) presents the Group’s work to support implementation of the global SDG indicator framework, following on Decision 47/101 from the UNSC’s meeting in March 2016. By that decision, the UNSC: agreed as a practical starting point with the proposed global indicator framework for the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda; requested the IAEG to take into account specific proposals for refinements of indicators; requested the IAEG to provide a plan for reviews of the indicator framework; asked the IAEG to report back on plans to develop methodologies for indicators where needed; and supported the establishment of a working group on data disaggregation. The report of the Group invites UNSC 48 to discuss and adopt: the revised global indicator framework, including specified refinements; proposed plans and schedule for reviews of the indicator framework, including a mechanism to address possible additional indicators; a proposed mechanism for moving indicators from one tier to another; and the proposed work programme of the IAEG for the next year.

The Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data will be presented at the upcoming UN World Data Forum in Cape Town.

The report of the HLG-PCCB (E/CN.3/2017/3) summarizes activities of the Group, including the preparation of a Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data, which aims to provide a framework for discussions, planning, and implementation of statistical capacity building to achieve the 2030 Agenda. In November 2016, the Group held an open consultation to allow statisticians from other national statistical offices, international and regional organizations, and civil society to provide input. The Global Action Plan will be presented at the upcoming UN World Data Forum (WDF) in Cape Town, and transmitted to UNSC 48 with an invitation to adopt the Plan. Also on the WDF, the HLG-PCCB plans to review proposals from countries to host the second UN WDF, and intends make a decision at its meeting on 15 January 2016 in Cape Town.

Jointly with the IAEG, the HLG-PCCB plans to conduct a mapping exercise on capacity-building needs in each country/region, using a similar exercise already completed in Latin America as a possible template. The HLG-PCCB agreed on criteria for the rotation of its membership, as part of revisions to the Group’s terms of reference, and it agreed on its work plan for 2017. UNSC 48 will be asked to take decision on both items. The eighth meeting of the group is scheduled for 5 March 2017, in New York, US, prior to UNSC 48.

Finally, a report of the UN Secretary-General (E/CN.3/2017/4) describes work carried out by the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in cooperation with the UN System, in support of the 2030 Agenda. This work includes the preparation of the Secretary-General’s annual report on the progress towards the SDGs, based on the data and analysis on the global IAEG-SDG indicators. The first progress report on the SDGs was released in June 2016, followed by the launch of the SDG Report 2016 in July, which includes data and analysis on the SDGs intended for a wider audience in a user-friendly format with charts and infographics on selected indicators, using the same data as the progress report. Together, the two reports “represent the first official review of where the world stands” on the SDGs, and will “serve as key benchmarks throughout the implementation period of the 2030 Agenda over the next 15 years,” according to the Note.

The report also highlights the establishment a database on the SDG indicators, and the Secretariat’s work to support countries in implementing the indicators at the national level. It also notes the work programme of the inter-agency working group on the global SDGs review. The activities of the working group include: reviewing plans for the annual progress report and the complementary SDGs report; agreeing on the structure, scope and coverage of the yearly reports and related contributions by the relevant organizations; contributing to the regular update of the SDG Indicators Database; and exchanging information on capacity-development activities for SDG-related statistics and indicators. According to the report, the Statistics Division has convened several teleconferences with the agencies that provide data and analysis for the preparation of the annual SDGs progress reports and the global database. It has been proposed that face-to-face meetings also be convened on a regular basis.

UNSC 48 will meet from 7-10 March 2017, in New York, US. [Report of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (E/CN.3/2017/2)] [Work on the review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.3/2017/4)] [Report of the High Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (E/CN.3/2017/3)] [Decision 47/101 (contained in the report of the UNSC on its 47th session, E/2016/24-E/CN.3/2016/34)] [UNSC 48 Documents]


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