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9th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs – Update 1

1          Opening session

Juraj Riecan, Director of Statistics Division, welcomed members of the IAEG-SDGs and observers on behalf of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) at its 9th session in Beirut, Lebanon. 

During the opening session, it was noted that by the end of 2019, four years since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, all SDGs had been reviewed once with SDG 17 being reviewed annually; most countries have reported on their voluntary national review (VNR); and many indicators have moved from tier III to tier II or tier I. There is no target without an indicator.

In the Arab Region, the availability of data is about 40 percent. The challenges ahead, however, do not relate to data and methodology, but relate to the breaking of the silo of statistics  and data so that CS, parliamentarians and lay people understand what data is saying. They are all part of the same coalition. UN-ESCWA is developing a country profile dashboard which will improve as move forward.

As explained by the Co-chair, Enrique Ordaz, there are still 41 that have yet to be moved from Tier III and proxies will be used to move some of them.  The main result should be to provide official indicators and to provide data for civil society and academia, as well as Governments and to make it a universal agenda. The IAEG-SDGs should produce indicators that will tell the story. His term as Co-chair was coming to an end and he introduced the incoming Co-chair, Viveka Palm.

Francesca Perucci noted that some of the discussions at the time of the Statistics Commission had expressed doubts about the process and that the indicators do not reflect the ambitions of the Agenda. The IAEG-SDGs and the UN Statistics Division (UNSD) were doing their best to address the challenges and do justice to the 2030 Agenda in addressing data issues and Leave no one behind. The UNSD was working with countries to develop their own national platforms as the process has to happen in every country, bringing all the data sources to meet with requirements of the Agenda.

2          Update on decisions from 50th Session of UNSC

Francesca Perucci reported on the key elements of the discussions during the UNSC.

Members of the Commission were pleased that at the number of tier III indicators that had been upgraded and supported the work on proxies. They endorsed criteria for guidelines on data flows and called for exploring automation of platforms on them, which is already happened in many countries. A background document on data disaggregation was also presented. The IAEG-SDGs Report was approved by the UNSC,  and the importance of the 2020 review was recognized with the report of Working Group on Interlinkages being welcomed.