In the last week of February, representatives from across the Pacific Islands will come together in Noumea to discuss Civil Registration and Vital Statistics. The meeting, hosted by the Pacific Community and organised with Brisbane Accord Group partners and the United Nations Statistics Division, is the first event of its kind to bring together in the region the Statistics, Civil Registry, and Health Sectors from all member countries and territories. The meeting is an opportunity to share experiences and lessons from the progress to date under the Pacific Vital Statistics Action Plan and to build on the commitments that the Pacific has made under the Asia Pacific Regional Action Framework and the Decade for CRVS (2015- 2024). It will also discuss tools and materials available to assist countries in this work such as the UN Principles and Recommendations for CRVS.
As we move into the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, strong CRVS systems play an important role in providing Pacific countries with data for setting development goals and targets and monitoring progress against these; in areas such as non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, education access, and other population-based indicators. Birth and death registration also plays a key role in protecting human rights, and supporting good governance and accountability for functions such as citizenship and national electoral rolls.
The meeting will provide a key opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made so far in improving national CRVS systems, and to continue to improve CRVS in the region to ensure that all residents of the Pacific Islands are able to “get in the picture” and be counted.