Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority Signs Partnership Agreement with GCC Statistical Centre

Monday 06 August 2018
Jeddah - MENA Herald:

The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) has signed a partnership agreement with the Statistical Centre of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC-Stat), as it prepares to host the second UN World Data Forum in the UAE on October 22, 2018.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place at the Authority’s headquarters in Dubai, with His Excellency Abdullah Nasser Lootah, FCSA Director General and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the UN World Data Forum 2018, and H.E. Saber bin Saeed Al Harbi, Director General of GCC-Stat, as signatories. Attending the ceremony were a number of dignitaries and officials from both sides.

“This MoU is a tangible result of the wise leadership’s directives to build bridges of cooperation between the UAE and the GCC. The agreement outlines the framework of collaboration that will enhance the UAE’s readiness to host the UN World Data Forum 2018, which seeks to achieve the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), not only in the UAE but also across the region and the world. The effort to bring together local and regional organisations to work together reflects our commitment to producing a premium platform for the forum – one that befits such a prestigious global event,” said H.E. Abdullah Nasser Lootah.

For his part, H.E. Saber bin Saeed Al-Harbi explained that the agreement is a confirmation of GCC-Stat’s commitment to supporting initiatives and events related to statistics, in general, and the UN World Data Forum 2018, in particular. He described the MoU as one of the most important to facilitate a global platform for seamless Gulf-wide statistical work, and one that stands to benefit all related stakeholders in the region.

Dr Fahad Bin Sulaiman Al Tekhaifi, President of the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat), asserted that the forum brings together leaders, decision makers and experts in the field of data science and statistics, as well as data producers and users from around the world. He reiterated that it represents an ideal opportunity to highlight the most important topics and introduce the latest technologies related to statistics in an interactive environment that endorses the exchange of information and ideas, as well as promotes innovative initiatives aimed at strengthening the capacity of participating states to harness data and statistical systems, and implement the 2030 SDGs globally.

“We are delighted to join hands with the UAE and to support it with the hosting of the UN World Data Forum 2018. This joint venture will help ensure the success of the 2018 Forum – an event that will enhance the position and stature of GCC statistics agencies globally,” said Othman Abdullah Al-Othman, Acting General Director of the Central Statistics Bureau and Assistant Undersecretary for the Statistics Sector, Kuwait.

“The collation of accurate statistical data is a fundamental pillar for the development process, as it provides indicators that play a pivotal role in decision-making, planning and the preparation of economic, social and environmental policies. Strong and effective statistical systems are vital to generate the large amount of data that is required to plan effective policies that cover all aspects of community activity,” he added.

Al Othman highlighted the importance of hosting major statistical platforms such as the UN World Data Forum, as it reflects the GCC countries’ support to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), facilitating partnerships between GCC, regional and international organisations. This, he said, leads to the enhancing of cooperation between users and producers of statistical data and improves the effectiveness of economic and development policies at the national, regional and international levels.

“Through the UN World Data Forum, we look forward to addressing important issues, such as national capacity-building and financing, improving data collection, integrating non-traditional sources of data and reviewing the progress of the Cape Town Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Development Data, which was agreed upon at the first World Data Forum. By addressing challenges in global data collection and collation, we can examine the solutions that will enable us to meet the 2030 Agenda,” Al Othman concluded.

Dr Nabeel Mohammed Shams, Deputy CEO, Statistics & Population Registry in Bahrain, stressed the importance of this Forum as it brings together the leading producers and users of data from around the region and the world, which will endorse global efforts in launching innovative initiatives that improve the quality of data generated on health, migration, refugees, education, income, environment, human rights and other core areas of sustainable development.

“The UN World Data Forum is an important gateway to exploring innovative approaches to applying data and statistics in measuring progress globally. It provides an ideal platform to launch initiatives and solutions that will provide better data for all by sharing experiences that will enrich discussions and improve the use of data in sustainable development,” said Dr Shams, who praised the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority for its efforts to host the event.

Dr Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Hamad Albarwani, CEO of the National Centre for Statistics and information, Oman, noted that the Sultanate has placed great emphasis on statistics since the very beginning of the renaissance sweeping across the country, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, by virtue of its great role in decision and policy making.”

“The UN World Forum 2018 is a great event, and one we can count on to discover innovative ways to utilise data and statistics to quantify international progress,” he added.

The second edition of the UN World Data Forum 2018 will provide an opportunity to network with organisations, companies, institutions, universities and experts from all over the world, all the while promoting the 2030 Agenda. With global leaders in data and statistics attending, along with a large number of officials from government and business sectors, the forum is expected to receive wide media coverage from various local, regional and international media agencies.

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