Press Release

High-level Session on Official Statistics - How can we collaborate to provide more relevant data and statistics for informed decision making?

25 May 2023

(25 May 2023, Male’) – A High-Level Session on Official Statistics, taken place on 25 May 2023, Thursday, was conducted by Maldives Bureau of Statistics with the support from the Statistics Division of UN DESA (UNHQ). The session aimed to foster collaboration among stakeholders and explore strategies to provide more relevant data and statistics for informed decision making.

The event, held at Meerumaa Events in Moonimaa Maalam, featured esteemed speakers and experts in the field of official statistics, including Government Ministers many of whom are members of the Ministerial Committee on Official Statistics. Also participating were the Governor of the MMA, the Commissioner General of Taxation, the United Nations, the Maldives Bureau of Statistics (MBS) and other agencies of the National Statistical System. Members of the Statistical Council also engaged during the event.

The session commenced with an opening address by Honorable Mohamed Aslam, Minister of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure, who emphasized the importance of data-driven decision making in shaping effective policies and strategies.

Ms. Catherine Haswell, the UN Resident Coordinator, delivered her remarks highlighting the significance of official statistics and their role in promoting sustainable development and evidence-based decision making to keep on track with achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Maldives.

Ms. Vibeke Oestreich Nielsen, Inter-Regional Adviser on Statistical Training and Capacity Building at the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), presented on the topic of responding to user needs and achieving high-quality and up-to-date data sources. Her insights shed light on the strategies and mechanisms necessary for meeting user requirements effectively, with collaboration being of high importance in the context.

The session also featured a presentation by Ms. Aishath Hassan, Chief Statistician, who provided an overview of the statistical system in Maldives. She discussed the current utilization of administrative data and highlighted the key challenges faced by the government in collaborating and sharing data to produce accurate and timely statistics.

Ms. Vibeke Oestreich Nielsen further elaborated on the use of administrative data for official statistics, with a specific focus on employment and migration statistics. Her presentation explored the potential of administrative data sources in enriching the understanding of these critical aspects and more generally.

An interactive discussion took place, facilitated by Ms. Vibeke Oestreich Nielsen, focusing on employment and migration data across the Maldives Statistical System (MSS). Participants shared existing challenges in Maldives with reference to making data readily available and usable for all and creating an open and trusting environment for agencies to share their data.

UN Maldives with the support from the Government of Maldives is committed to supporting initiatives that promote collaboration and the use of data for informed decision making. Events like the High-Level Session on Official Statistics contribute to the advancement of data-driven governance and policy formulation. Statistics form an essential part of the Government of Maldives’ reporting its Voluntary National Review (VNR) on progress on SDGs to the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2023.


For media inquiries or further information, please contact:



Ms. Aminath Mushfiqa Ibrahim

Director, HR

Maldives Bureau of Statistics



Ms. Shaha Shakeeb

Associate Development Coordination Officer, Data Management and Results Monitoring / Reporting

UN Maldives Resident Coordinators Office



Ms. Vibeke Oestreich Nielsen

Interregional Advisor on Statistical Training and Capacity Building Development Data and Outreach Branch

United Nations Statistics Division


Shaha Shakeeb

Shaha Shakeeb

Associate Development Coordination Officer, Data Management & Results Monitoring / Reporting Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Goals we are supporting through this initiative