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To commemorate the International Year of Statistics 2013, the Directorate General of Statistics (DGS), Ministry of Finance and UNFPA in Timor-Leste organized a series of events to highlight the importance of statistics in planning the country's future development.

Over 600 students, researchers and staff of various ministries attended a three-day Statistics Fair in Dili that included an exhibition of the statistical reports and publications related to the successful conduction of census in 2010. On October 28-29 the Ministry of Finance hosted a regional seminar including speakers from Australia and Indonesia and attended by policy-makers, UN representatives, NGOs, university students and civil society.

Mr. John M. Pile, UNFPA Representative in Timor-Leste explained that the year was declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Statistics to promote the power and impact of statistics on everyday life and to introduce young people to careers in statistical science.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Antonio Freitas, Director General for Statistics, referred to statistics as "the lifeblood of good governance" that enables policy makers to make decisions based on existing facts, emphasizing that statistics play an important role for the future of Timor-Leste.

The Minister of Justice, Snr. Dionisio Babo Soares, UNFPA representative, Mr. John M. Pile and Sr. Freitas launched 12 monographs and analytical reports related to the 2010 Census (click here to download).

In light of the launch of the State of the World Population Report 2013, Mr. Freitas stated that "the thematic reports include a section about the situation of women and children in Timor-Leste that shows statistics on Adolescent Pregnancy and it will be published soon. We want to make sure that the government strongly uses these statistics and data in their policy making, especially for young people, including girls."

The Minister of Finance, Sra. Emilia Pires, also urged the Ministry of Education to ensure that students learn about the Millennium Development Goals, especially in the context of their country. "We all should learn to look at the bigger picture and try to use the information that we have to plan for our future" said Sra. Pires.

Recently the UN Secretary General High Level panel of Eminent Persons called for a data revolution that would fully integrate statistics into decision making, promote open access to, and use of, data and ensure increased support of statistical systems. The linkage between data and action is so strong that what gets measured gets done is conventional wisdom. This linkage between data and action is reflected in the emphasis on measurable indicators as a core element of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It's also why the current discussions on the next set of global development goals (after the MDGs end in 2015) looks to be re-doubling the emphasis on data and measurement.

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