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Caribbean Statisticians Examine Free Movement Database

(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) As 2004 races to a close, Regional Officials are redoubling their efforts to ensure that Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are adequately equipped with the necessary information tools for the 2005 implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). To this end, the 29th Meeting of the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (SCCS) was convened on Monday 22 November in Hamilton, Bermuda and will end on the 24 November 2004

Statistical data with relation to economic, social and environmental developments in the Region, and the employment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in National statistical offices are slated as major agenda items for discussion among regional statistical officials.

In this context, the three-day forum will focus on the Region's economics and statistics framework, with specific relation to the compilation of databases of CARICOM countries to reflect information pertaining to regional and international trade in Services. Caribbean Statisticians are also slated to give full attention to gaps and deficiencies that exist in CARICOM's programme of capacity building in social and gender statistical development.

With regard to analysing social issues in the Region, the meeting is expected to discuss regional and international initiatives in social statistics, including Guyana's collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on the Child Protection and monitoring database, and progress with respect to surveys of Living Conditions and Poverty Assessments in the Region.

The CARICOM Statisticians will also receive updates from Member States and examine the development of Statistics on ICTs as mandated by the Meeting of Ministers of ICTs. The establishment of a statistical database to monitor free movement of nationals, a key element of the operation of the CSME, will be brought to the table by the regional database officials, who will also look to ensure that statistical offices across the Region are modernised. A key issue also relates to a Draft Statistical Programme, for the Region, which accompanies a resolution prepared by the SCCS requesting increased investments in statistics by Governments of the Region.

Meanwhile, the Twelfth Meeting of the Regional Census Coordinating Committee is scheduled for Thursday, 25 November 2004 in Bermuda.

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