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National mechanisms for monitoring progress and reporting on implementation for the achievement of SDGs
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stressed that Governments have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review. In the 2030 Agenda, Member States committed to fully engage in conducting regular and inclusive reviews of progress at that national level. National reports will allow assessments of progress and identify challenges and will inform recommendations for follow up at the national, regional and global levels.

The 2030 Agenda also underscored that quality and reliable disaggregated data will be needed to help with the measurement of progress and to ensure that no one is left behind. Such data are key to decision making, as well as to monitoring and reporting on implementation for the achievement of SDGs.

The session will focus on reviewing ways and approaches to systematic and effective follow-up, monitoring and review of the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level, including the development and utilization of statistics and indicators for sustainable development.

It will aim to evaluate the existing work on monitoring and reporting at the national level, share experiences and lessons learned, identify gaps and challenges, and recommend ways and future actions in strengthening national institutions, mechanisms, and statistical capacities for effective monitoring, data collection and reporting on the implementation for the achievement of SDGs, and foster cooperation and partnerships to support capacity building in developing countries.

In this context, Member States agreed to intensify efforts to strengthen statistical capacities in developing countries. Such an agreement is also reflected clearly in target 17.18 which says “By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts”.

Possible questions for discussion:
  1. What successful experience and best practices in your country could be shared in terms of effective monitoring of progress and reporting on implementation for the achievement of SDGs?
  2. What are the difficulties, challenges and gaps that might prevent effective monitoring and reporting on progress of SDGs at the national level?
  3. What concrete actions should be taken with regards to strengthening institutions and capacities of countries, in particular developing countries, for data collection, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of SDGs?

Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:
  • Mr. Johannes Paul Jütting, Manager of the PARIS21 Secretariat within the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate

Panellists:
  • Ms. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, National Statistician and Head of the Philippine Statistics Authority
  • Mr. Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General of South Africa
  • Mr. Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director General of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office

Lead discussants:
  • H.E. Mr. Milorad Scepanovic, Director-General from the General Directorate of Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro
  • Ms. Peseta Noumea Simi, Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa
Biographies (alphabetical order)
H.E. Mr. Milorad Scepanovic
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro
H.E. Mr. Milorad Scepanovic

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro

H.E. Mr. Milorad Scepanovic was appointed Ambassador of Montenegro to the United Nations on June 4, 2010. Mr. Šæepanoviæ served as Deputy Minister and Head of the Department for Multilateral Relations from June 2007 until his appointment. He was Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2006. From 1988 to 2006, Mr. Scepanovic held the position of Acting Deputy Minister for Multilateral Cooperation. Prior to this he headed the Directorate for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Mr. Scepanovic graduated from the University of Belgrade in 1979 with a degree in political science. Born in 1956 in Kolašin, Montenegro, he is married and has two children.

Mr. Georges-Simon Ulrich
Director General of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office
Mr. Georges-Simon Ulrich

Director General of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office

Mr. Georges-Simon Ulrich was appointed Director General of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) in October 2013. From May 2011 until September 2013 he headed LUSTAT, the Canton of Lucerne's official statistics institution and was responsible for its operational, scientific and methodological management. Before he held several top management positions notably as CEO and President of the Board of Directors of the d&s Institute for market and communication research and CEO and President of the Board of the gfs research institute. Since February 2013 he has been giving lectures in strategic management and research methods as professor at different institutions such as at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration in Zurich. Georges-Simon Ulrich was born on 17 August 1968, has Swiss citizenship, is married and has two children.

Mr. Johannes Paul Jütting
Manager of the PARIS21 Secretariat within the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate
Mr. Johannes Paul Jütting

Manager of the PARIS21 Secretariat within the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate

Mr. Johannes Jütting is the Manager of the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21), a global data partnership that promotes the improved use and production of statistics throughout the developing world. He leads the partnership’s work in supporting developing countries as they strengthen capacity to better produce and use statistical data for policy-making and monitoring of development outcomes. Mr. Jütting is a trained development economist with a PhD from Humboldt-University in Berlin with specific expertise in employment, social protection, health insurance and gender. Prior to joining PARIS21, Mr. Jütting headed up Poverty Reduction Teams at the OECD Development Centre and at the Centre for Global Development Research (ZEF).

Mr. Pali Lehohla
Statistician-General of South Africa
Mr. Pali Lehohla

Statistician-General of South Africa

Dr. Pali Lehohla is the Statistician General of South Africa, a position he held since November of 2000. He is the Chair of Africa Symposium for Statistical Development (ASSD), a country led initiative established in 2006 and the aim of which is to put statistical evidence at the centre of policy in Africa. From 2005 to 2010 he served in a variety of portfolios. He was Chair of the United Nations Statistics Commission, Chair of Statistics Commission Africa and also Chair of PARIS21 a global partnership for statistical development in the 21st Century. He is also the Chair for the Sub-Group on Harmonization of Statistics in Africa. He has served as an advisor to in-conflict, post-conflict and fragile political environments. In this regard he was Chief Advisor to the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MOC) of the 2008 Population and Housing Census of Sudan which was part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005. He served as a UN envoy to the Census of Cambodia in 1998. He undertook a Population Census readiness mission in Afghanistan in 2008 and another in Iraq in 2009. He is Vice President of the International Statistics Institute (ISI) and led the hosting of the 57th Session of the ISI held in Durban South Africa in 2009. Under his leadership he has established partnerships with universities in South Africa in advancing tuition of statistical training, research and applications in state planning. Of note is the establishment of the Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation and Statistical Exploration (CRUISE) at the University of Stellenbosch. Under the auspices of the Africa Census Analysis Project (ACAP), he initiated a series of publications on the Demography of South Africa as primary tuition material for higher learning and advancing pan-African scholarship. The first book towards achieving this objective on the South African series was published in 2005. He obtained his degree from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) with double major in Statistics and Economics, undertook post-graduate studies in demography from the United Nations Regional Institute for Population Studies (UNRIPS) at the University of Ghana and Senior Executive Programme jointly awarded by Wits and Harvard Universities. In December 2015, his alma mater, the University of Ghana recognised his contribution in statistics and honoured him and the University of Stellenbosch conferred on Pali Lehohla an Honorary Doctorate for his extensive contribution in global affairs.

Ms. Lisa Grace S. Bersales
National Statistician and Head of the Philippine Statistics Authority
Ms. Lisa Grace S. Bersales

National Statistician and Head of the Philippine Statistics Authority

Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales is the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). She brings to the position more than 30 years of experience as a researcher and professor in the academe as well as a statistics development partner of the public and private sectors. Among her notable works include restructuring the country’s national statistical system, redefining roles in response to new challenges, and the development of statistical standards, methodologies for sectoral statistics. Before holding her present position, she was appointed as the Vice President for Planning and Finance of the University of the Philippines (UP) System. It was the same university where she served as Dean and Director for Graduate Studies for the School of Statistics. Being the current head of PSA, there were also a number of international engagements in which she takes part of. She currently serves as co-chair of the Interagency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (IAEG-SDG) Indicators and vice-chair of the Regional Steering Group for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (RSG-CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific. Recently, she was elected as the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) Board.

Ms. Peseta Noumea Simi
Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa
Ms. Peseta Noumea Simi

Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa

Statements
Statements
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
H.E. Mr. Milorad Scepanovic, Director-General from the General Directorate of Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro
Mr. Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General of South Africa
Ms. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, National Statistician and Head of the Philippine Statistics Authority
Ms. Peseta Noumea Simi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa
Sri Lanka
Stakeholder Group on Ageing
Presentations
Mr. Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director General, Swiss Federal Statistical Office