The United Nations Statistical Office (UNSD) in collaboration with the Korea Statistical Office (KOSTAT) organized the International Conference on Official Statistics with the theme “The role of data and statistics in understanding and reducing risks: What we learn from crisis situations, including global pandemic” from August 31 to September 2, 2021 in Korea in an online format. The delegation of the General Statistics Office was attended by Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong – Director General, Deputy General Directors, leaders and representatives of units under the General Statistics Office.

According to the expected agenda, the Conference focused on discussing methods of integrating statistical data and geospatial information to address risks and overcome crises based on data. In addition, the Conference also discussed the role of data and statistics, national experience, assessed the impact of risk and crisis mitigation on statistical systems and identified requirements for risk management to be better in the future.

In addition to the Opening and Closing sessions, the Conference is expected to take place in 7 main sessions with the main contents being: (1) Session 1. The role of data, the Statistical Community and the National Ecosystem : International Frameworks, Recommendations and Classifications; (2) Session 2. The role of integrated data in providing information for decision-making on disaster risk, resilience and response; (3) Session 3. Country experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic – Design of risk mitigation measures, relief and recovery plans; (4) Session 4 – Impact of disasters on statistical activities: how the National Statistical System Responds; (5) Session 5 – Accelerating transformation and adapting to new challenges: New data solutions and partnerships; (6) Session 6. Building Resilience Data and Statistical Systems: Lessons on Responding to Current Crisis; (7) Session 7. Addressing new technical and financial requirements, future-oriented. These are important and highly topical contents in the period when the world is facing unusual developments in this times.

Speakers from countries and international organizations presented at the Conference with different topics.

At the invitation of the Organizing Committee, the Director General of the General Statistics Office, Dr. Nguyen Thi Huong gave a presentation at the 4th meeting – Part A held on September 1, 2021 with the theme “The impact of disaster for statistical operations: how The National Statistical System Responds”. The presentation of Director General Nguyen Thi Huong mentioned many topical issues facing countries in the period when the whole world is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic. The main contents of the presentation as follow: (1) Impact of disasters on statistical activities, including both impact of disasters on statistical activities and on supporting the statistical activities; (2) Responses of the National Statistics Office; (3) Recommendations of the General Statistics Office for international organizations.

When the disaster lasts, countries around the world need to prepare in all aspects to adapt to the new normal conditions. The end of the disaster will pose many challenges for countries to recover the economy quickly and sustainably, to create a solid foundation to be able to better respond to future disasters. This poses many challenges to the statistical activities of the National Statistics Offices. Close cooperation with the international organizations and development partners plays an important part as the National Statistics Offices have to respond to the increasing demand for statistics meanwhile the resources continue to be cut down, especially during the appearance of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The presentation of the General Director mentioned The orientation of operation strategy of the General Statistics Office in the context of pandemics and disasters as follows:

– In Viet Nam, the GSO receives reports on disasters and epidemics from the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority and the Ministry of Health. In order to promote its role as the agency in charge of publishing information on all aspects of the national socio-economic situation, especially on disasters, the GSO strategically orients to build a comprehensive, timely and effective cooperation framework with ministries, line-ministries related to this field to collect, analyze, publish and disseminate information more comprehensively. Accordingly, the role of the GSO will be enhanced in producting and disseminating official statistics on disaster risks, epidemics to meet the users’ needs.

– The demand for information on disaster events of domestic and international users is increasing, the GSO develops an assessment framework for information needs in general, and information needs related to disaster risk, epidemics in particular; at the same time improves existing statistics, develops and expands many new statistics; upgrades the information technology infrastructure in the field of statistics to better serve the data users’ needs.

Concluding his presentation, the Director General raises four proposals for the international organizations as follows: (1) Developing and applying new statistical methods; (2) Providing support for training and capacity building in statistics; (3) Establishing a sustainable cooperation mechanism between countries, statistical experts, and international organizations to analyze, forecast, prevent and minimize the harms of disasters; (4) Investing in disaster response capacity development.

Attending this year’s International Conference on Official Statistics is very important for the development of Statistics in Viet Nam. With the theme “The role of data and statistics in understanding and reducing risks: What we learn from crisis situations, including global pandemic”, the content discussed at the Conference is a valuable information for Statistics Viet Nam to complete the National Statistical System, proactively respond to the current situation when the Covid-19 pandemic is raging around the world, and implement the policies and guidelines set out in the 13th National Party Congress, contributing to orienting the process of developing the Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy for the period of 2021-2030 and a vision to 2045 in line with the world’s development trends.