Statistics has been playing a significant part in the evolution of our Community through the provision of data based upon which decisions could be guided. It is a happy coincidence that such an important element of the Region’s social and economic life, is celebrating the International Year of Statistics in the same year of the Community’s 40th Anniversary.
Today, Tuesday, 15 October 2013, marks the fifth observance by the Community of Caribbean Statistics Day. The observance is aimed at recognising the vital role of statistics in improving the daily lives of the peoples of our Community and in raising the profile of statistics and statisticians across the Region.
This year’s observance of Caribbean Statistics Day takes on special significance given that there are two noteworthy events taking place in 2013, the first being the Fortieth Anniversary of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the second being the observance of International Year of Statistics.
The Fortieth Anniversary of our Community is a milestone that symbolises the vision of our founding fathers that saw regional integration as the path to achieving growth and development, and in consolidating the bonds that historically existed among our peoples. With the passing of time, not only has there been recommitment to the visionary goals of the founding fathers, but the agenda has been expanded to a more enhanced integration movement with the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in 2006, with the free movement of skilled Community nationals, capital, goods, the right of establishment and the provision of services.
The CARICOM Secretariat has been collaborating with Member States to observe the International Year of Statistics, 2013 under the theme, Statistics in Everyday Life; Let us Educate and Appreciate.
The over-riding goals of dedicating an entire year to statistics are to:
• Increase public awareness of the power and far-reaching impact of statistics on all aspects of society;
• Promote and nurture statistics as a profession, especially among young people;
• Promote creativity and development in the sciences of probability and statistics.
The commemoration of Caribbean Statistics Day against the background of the International Year of Statistics and of the Fortieth Anniversary of the Community provides a very valuable opportunity for us to recognise the importance of statistics in the improvement of our lives, our countries and our Community.
Therefore, I take this opportunity to commend statisticians across this Region for their continued dedication and commitment as we acknowledge the crucial role of their discipline in advancing the goals of our Community.