First Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific

24 Nov 2014 to 28 Nov 2014
Bangkok, Thailand
By invitation only

Subsequent to ESCAP Resolution 69/15 Implementing the Outcome of the High-level Meeting on the Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP and development partners convened the first ministerial conference on civil registration and vital statistics in Asia and the Pacific from 24 to 28 November 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Background

In April 2013, a resolution was put forward by government of the Philippines to ESCAP at its 69th commission session entitled Implementing the Outcome of the High-level Meeting on the Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific. Importantly, the resolution called for ESCAP to convene the ministerial meeting in 2014 and to establish a regional steering group for CRVS in Asia and the Pacific. It was adopted by ESCAP resolution 69/15 with the cosponsorship of the governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan and Turkey.

Text from ESCAP resolution 69/15

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,

8. Requests the Executive Secretary:

(a) To convene an intergovernmental regional meeting of ministers of health, ministers responsible for civil registration and heads of national statistical organizations, other relevant government stakeholders and senior officials of relevant development partners to endorse the Regional Strategic Plan for the Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific and to foster further regional action to support the improvement of civil registration and vital statistics in the region.

The resolution initiated from the discussions at the 2012 High-level Meeting, as well as the subsequently held third session of the ESCAP Committee on Statistics. One of the main conclusions of the 2012 High-level Meeting, and a strong recommendation of the Committee, was the need for Asia and the Pacific to convene an intergovernmental ministerial-level meeting on CRVS as soon as possible to secure broad commitment at the highest-level from countries and development partners.

Text from the High-level Meeting outcome document:

We agree that realizing our vision depends on high-level political commitment at the national and international levels, and therefore call for the following immediate actions to be taken:

1. A meeting of relevant ministers of ESCAP members and associate members to discuss and agree on the vision of well‐functioning CRVS systems in Asia and the Pacific by 2020. The meeting should aim to achieve:

  1. Endorsement of the Regional Strategic Plan.
  2. Endorsement of regional milestones and indicators for monitoring and reporting the state of CRVS systems and progress in implementing the Regional Strategic Plan.
  3. Endorsement of a governance structure for the Regional Strategic Plan, including the proposed regional support office and regional steering committee.
  4. Agreement to allocate appropriate resources to CRVS systems.

The Committee on Statistics, at its third session, echoed this conclusion when it endorsed the Regional Strategic Plan and strongly recommended (Recommendation 3/2) that, “… a meeting of relevant ministers and development partners be held in order to attain the high-level political commitment required to support the successful implementation of the Plan.”