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Contact: Lucius Doxerie


Monday,  August 3, 2009 –  Over 150 delegates representing countries throughout the world, assembled in Trinidad on July 30, to discuss matters pertaining to the importance of decision making based on statistics. The meeting dubbed: “High Level Advocacy Forum on Statistics: The Urgency of Statistics and the Global Crisis Enabling Development in the Caribbean Community”,  brought together ministers and high level government officials, academicians, Heads of regional and international governments, and Heads of statistic departments, in a frank interchange on the prominence and urgency of statistics, given the global crisis. 


The meeting was convened by the CARICOM Secretariat, the CARICOM Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians, and Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century, otherwise known as PARIS21.


The main aim of the high level gathering, was to highlight the global crisis which is fuelling the demand for new data, and to examine existing statistical infrastructure in the Caribbean community to determine its readiness to provide statistics that are complete, consistent and comparable across countries.


The focus of discussions centered on the mobilization of support for the development of the national statistical systems in the region, in an effort to strengthen their capacity to provide timely, relevant and reliable statistics that will allow the Caribbean region to monitor the impact of the global crisis on member states, specifically on the CARICOM, Single Market and Economy-CSME.


It was noted that urgent financial support and investment is required to strengthen the capacity of statistics departments in the region, to allow them to produce a wide range of statistical information on a sustainable basis.


Opening the meeting, CARICOM’s Secretary General, Edwin Carrington, urged member states to pay closer attention to decision making based on sound statistics. “Good statistics” he said “will provide good politics, and good politics will provide good statistics.”


Resident Coordinator of the UN System and Resident Representative of the UNDP, Barbados and the OECS, Michelle Gyles Mc-Donnough, called for the effective targeting of social investments towards the needy and most vulnerable at a time when inequality remains high. She urged member states to practice fiscal prudence, by ensuring that every dollar spent, is geared towards policies that contribute to positive and measurable social change.


Among institutions represented at the meeting were the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies of the University of the West Indies and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).


Saint Lucia was represented by Head of Statistics, Edwin St. Catherine,  Director of Research and Policy in the Ministry of Finance Embert St. Juste and Principal Information Officer of the Government Information Service, Lucius Doxerie.

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