In a significant victory, India was overwhelmingly elected to the UN Statistical Commission, returning to the world organisation's highest statistical body after a gap of two decades after a “competitive” election.
India was elected by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a member of the UN Statistical Commission.
ECOSOC elected India and Cambodia for a term of office beginning on April 5, 2023, and expiring on December 31, 2025, to fill outstanding vacancies from the Asia-Pacific States in the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The UN statistical commission is the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
It is also an important subsidiary body of the UN organ focussed on economic, social and environmental issues.
India, along with South Korea, UAE, and China were in the competition for two seats from the Asia Pacific States category.
In a highly competitive election for membership to the Statistical Commission, India secured an overwhelming 46 out of 53 votes in a secret ballot.
In the election, South Korea won over China for the other seat in the Asia Pacific States category.
As per the Council’s rules of procedure, South Korea was elected for the second seat by drawing lots following two inconclusive rounds of secret-ballot voting.
Austria, Armenia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States were elected for the term of 4 years in office by secret ballot.
Significance of India’s membership:
India was a member of the Statistical Commission last in 2004 and the country is returning to the UN agency after a gap of two decades.
The experience of India in the field of official statistics especially with regard to its diversity and demography is immense and will be a valuable addition to the functioning of the UN Statistical Commission.
UN Statistical Commission:
The UN Statistical Commission, established in 1947, is the highest body of the global statistical system bringing together the Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world.
It is the highest decision-making body for international statistical activities, responsible for setting statistical standards and the development of concepts and methods, including their implementation at the national and international levels.
The Commission consists of 24 member countries of the United Nations elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council on the basis of equitable geographical distribution.
Five members are from African States
four from Eastern European States
four from Latin American and Caribbean States
Seven members from Western European and other States.
The current members from the Asia-Pacific States are Japan (2024), Samoa (2024) as well as Kuwait and South Korea, whose terms are ending this year.