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Improving Official Statistics

54th session of UN Statistical Commission: Side Event “Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics: History, Relevance Today, Mission for Tomorrow – a Message from the Creators” – 2 February 2023

Convened by the International Association for Official Statistics

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023

Time: 9:00 – 11:00 AM (New York time)

Format: Virtual (Zoom)

Objectives of the webinar:

  1. Practical conclusions derived from the history of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (FPOS), based on 30 years of experiences of by different groups of stakeholders of official statistics, with special reference to statistical agencies and other producers of official statistics and to the governments and international organizations.
  2. Mission of the FPOS in XXI century – legal, methodological and ethical basis of protecting “clean” information for societies in knowledge-based economies amid conditions of globalization.


A. History of the FPOS

The spurs for the creation of the FPOS adopted by the UNECE in 1992, and by the UNSC in 1994, were political and economic changes caused by the fall of socialist systems in Europe and in other regions of the world in 1989- 1992. In the 1990th the FPOS were used, in many countries, as the basis of the adoption of statistical laws and to restructure and provide a new raison d’atre for national statistical offices in transition countries. It soon became clear that the Principles are of universal importance for all stakeholders of statistics, for all countries as well as international organizations involved in production, distribution and use of official statistical data.

B. Relevance today

Because of wide use of modern information and communication technologies, statistical data are now produced by many agents, including national governments, international agencies and the private sector. In this situation the FPOS became a fundamental principle which could be applied to the regulation of information processes. The FPOS could  serve as guidance  not only to official statisticians, but also to all producers, distributors and users of statistical data and socio–economic metadata. Thus, the interpretation of the principles of the FPOS became relevant and pertinent to the needs of the stakeholders “outside” statistical offices.

C. Mission for tomorrow

Users are currently presented with a never before seen abundance of data and information on almost every subject imaginable today. Unfortunately this abundance is too often not matched by the necessary quality criteria and the information systems are often not trustworthy. A new foundation of principles will be necessary to that these systems can serve the needs of users. The issue to be explored here is what role the FPOS can play in developing that foundation. Can, for example, the principles of the FPOS can be expanded to include the private sector. Will the FPOS change so that the protection of the quality of information environments of societies and economies is the priority mission of the FPOS in XXI century.


  • Misha Belkindas, IAOS President


  • Jean-Louis Bodin, former President ISI and IAOS
  • Jozef Olenski, former President GUS, Professor, Lazarski University
  • Hermann Habermann, former Chief Statistician of USA, former Director UNSD


To register click HERE