Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, giving the keynote address
On the first day of the PARIS21 Annual Meetings, participants welcomed the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, who delivered the keynote address and marked the opening of the 2017 Meetings.
As a distinguished member of the PARIS21 Board, the Prime Minister, along with 50 other representatives from all regions of the world, provide guidance on the strategic direction of PARIS21 as a partnership and the work programme of the Secretariat.
In his keynote speech, the Prime Minister highlighted the key role of statistics in development and governance, especially in the context of the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He emphasised that "Statistics creates transparency, as citizens are able to examine the decisions made by the government and local authorities by ensuring accountability."
The Prime Minister recognises the challenges and opportunities of the Samoa Pathway and 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for Grenada and the SIDS overall.
“The SDGs are ambitious, not just to achieve, but to measure. For small countries, there is a dire need to expand the range and types of data being measured to accommodate the monitoring demands of this framework. Measuring change in the SDGs requires even more and better data systems.”
As Chairman of the United Nations Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Prime Minister is a major advocate and champion for statistics. He believes that solid, accurate, timely and relevant statistics produced by autonomous, professional statistical agencies enable efficient management and effective prioritisation of interventions. The Prime Minister continued to call on strengthened statistical systems that can transform statistics in SIDS in order to meet increasing national, regional and international demands.
The Prime Minister went on to highlight the CARICOM Action Plan for Statistics which he presented at the 37th Regular Meeting of Heads of Government in 2016. This plan was created to increase awareness amongst CARICOM leaders on the state of statistics in the region. This CARICOM Action Plan will feed into the 2018 Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS).
The Prime Minister emphasised the need for increased support from development partners for statistical operations and the importance of capacity development.
“The issue of capacity-building must be aggressively addressed by SIDS and I therefore make a clarion call to development partners to support initiatives like the Action Plan for Statistics, which recommends the best approach to capacity building.”
For the entire keynote address by Dr. The Hon. Keith Mitchell, listen to our latest “Data Talk” podcast:
For more images of the 2017 PARIS21 Annual Meetings, view our photo album here:
For more on the Prime Minister's involvement in the 2017 PARIS21 Annual Meetings: