United Nations Statistical Commission
The United Nations Statistical Commission is a Functional Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council established in 1946;1 it oversees the work of the United Nations Statistics Division. Its 24 member states are elected by the Economic and Social Council on the basis of the following geographical distribution: African states (5), Asian States (4), Eastern European States (4), Latin American and Caribbean States (4), Western European and other States (7). Since July 1999 the Commission meets every year. As set forth by the Economic and Social Council, in the terms of reference,2 the Commission shall assist the Council:
- "In promoting the development of national statistics and the improvement of their comparability;"
- "In the coordination of the statistical work of specialized agencies;"3
- "In the development of the central statistical services of the Secretariat;"
- "In advising the organs of the United Nations on general questions relating to the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical information;"
- "In promoting the improvement of statistics and statistical methods generally."
One of the best known subunits of the Statistics Division is the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN), also known as the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names (UNCSGN). This unit attempts to standardize the names of locations across languages, alphabets, and cultures.
The sixth UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names was in 1992 (New York), the seventh in 1998 (New York), the eighth in 2002 (Berlin), and the ninth in 2007 (New York). One issue addressed at these conferences was the Sea of Japan naming dispute.
The officers are the Chairman, 3 Vice-chairmen and the Rapporteur, elected for a one year period by the members of the Commission at the beginning of a session. Since 1999, its role is more of a steering one; the Chairman may seek for complementary assistance from other members (Friends of the Chair).
- Chairmanship 4
Year Session Chair
2013 44th Hungary 2012 43rd Hungary 2011 42nd Oman 2010 41st Oman 2009 40th South Africa 2008 39th South Africa 2007 38th Mexico 2006 37th Mexico 2005 36th USA 2004 35th USA 2003 34th Hungary 2002 33rd Hungary 2001 32nd Japan 2000 31st Botswana 1999 30th Botswana 1997 29th Mexico 1995 28th United Kingdom 1994 Special session Poland 1993 27th Netherlands 1991 26th Netherlands 1989 25th Argentina 1987 24th Ghana 1985 23rd Ireland 1983 22nd Hungary 1981 21st USA 1979 20th USSR 1976 19th India 1974 18th United Kingdom 1972 17th France 1970 16th France 1968 15th Australia 1966 14th Norway 1965 13th Norway 1962 12th Ireland 1960 11th Ireland 1958 10th New Zealand 1956 9th India 1954 8th India 1953 7th United Kingdom 1951 6th United Kingdom 1950 5th Netherlands 1949 4th Netherlands 1948 3rd Canada 1947 (August) 2nd Canada 1947 (January) 1st Canada 1946 Nuclear session USA
- Hausner, Isolde: Die „United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names“ (UNGEGN) und die Standardisierung geographischer Namen. In: Kainz, W. / Kriz, K. / Riedl, A. (eds.): Aspekte der Kartographie im Wandel. Festschrift für Ingrid Kretschmer zum 65. Geburtstag. Wien 2004 (= Wiener Schriften zur Geographie und Kartographie).
- Kerfoot, Helen: Role of the United Nations in the standardization of geographical names: some fifty years on. In: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics Division (ed.): Manual for the standardization of geographical names. United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. New York 2006: 83-97. ISBN 92-1-161490-2
- United Nations Statistics Division
- List of national and international statistical services
- Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA)
- see all reports at
- Background information on the Statistical Commission and practical information on its functioning
- refer also to Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA)
- Chairs of past sessions
- Home page for Statistical Commission
- Home page for Statistical Division
- Official home page for UNGEGN
- Website for UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
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