Talking points at workshop on National Statistics Council

11 Dec 2013

Speaker: Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director
Date:      10 December 2013
Time:      08h15-16h30
Event:    Workshop on National Statistics Council   
Venue:  2nd Floor, Pullman Hotel, No.40 Cat Linh Street, Ha Noi

Mr. Nguyễn Văn Trung, Vice-Minister of MPI
Mr. Nguyễn Bích Lâm, Director-General of GSO
International experts, colleagues and friends
Ladies and gentlemen:

Firstly, let me express my sincere thanks to the MPI and GSO for organizing today’s stakeholder workshop to discuss the important topic of establishing a National Statistics Council in Viet Nam.

The relevance of this discussion was recently validated in a consultation on the Fourth Draft of the Statistics Law, where the establishment of the National Statistics Council was seen by stakeholders as a key direction for the revised Law, and potentially, a pillar of renovating the entire Viet Nam Statistical Development System (VSDS). Importantly, the recent GSO initiatives to study international experiences and the feasibility of establishing such a Council speak to the Government’s commitment to pursue institutional reforms needed for the successful implementation of the VSDS.

Such commitment is vital for achieving the VSDS goal of bringing Viet Nam’s efforts in collecting, analyzing and disseminating good quality and timely statistical data up to the international standards. The establishment of the Council, specifically, is seen as a factor of ensuring a more effective coordination among the GSO, Ministries and other stakeholders.
UNDP as part of the United Nations family is pleased to participate in this workshop where relevant international experiences will be shared and discussions held among key stakeholders to support our national partners in identifying a relevant model and roadmap for the establishment of the National Statistics Council in Viet Nam. To contribute to today’s discussions, I would like to offer a few thoughts:

First, bearing in mind the recognized need for strengthening coordination among different players in Viet Nam’s Statistical Development System, the workshop can usefully deliberate and define what is relevant and practical for Viet Nam in setting up a National Statistical Council. This would involve discussing the roles of the Council in setting policy direction, standards and coordination versus providing advice of a more technical nature. The answers should address the recognized need and do so with value addition.

Second, the discussions on the authority and composition of National Statistical Council could benefit from useful experiences of coordination in other sectors in Viet Nam. Experience shows that coordination bodies with strong political commitment of the Government, appropriate coordinating power (such as those led by a top executive whose authority transcends ministries or administrative levels), built on a strong consensus and concrete cooperation mechanisms between and across ministries and administrative levels, would tend to be both successful and sustainable.

Third, good practices from other countries and UN’s own guidance for formulating Statistics Laws show that establishment of a national coordinating body should go hand in hand with other improvements such as strengthening the independence of the statistical system and promoting information dissemination, for example, by establishing a National Statistical Information Center. The enforcement of the Statistics Law and consistent implementation of policies such as on transparent dissemination of statistical data and on coordination mechanisms, are crucial to the achievement of the VSDS goals.

I would like to echo Vice-Minister Trung and express our hope that international experiences, including from the Russian Federation, India, Czech Republic, Canada as well as from the Paris21 Initiative, would help the MPI, GSO and line ministries develop a roadmap for the establishment of the National Statistics Council in Viet Nam.

I would like take this opportunity to re-affirm UNDP’s continued support to the Viet Nam’s efforts in reforming its statistical legal framework and renovating the appropriate coordination and organizational structures, which would ultimately define the success of the VSDS as a whole.

I would like to thank our distinguished experts from partner countries’ Statistics Offices such as from Russia and India, as well as Paris21, for joining us to share their valuable experiences. Our exchange as part of this initiative is a great example of meaningful South-South cooperation for development results.

I would also like to thank the participants from the Office of the Government, the National Assembly committees, Ministries, colleagues from the MPI and GSO, research institutes and development partners for attending today’s workshop.  

I look forward to a stimulating discussion leading to solid recommendations on the way forward.

I thank you for your attention and wish all participants success and good health.

Xin cảm ơn!