by Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- A delegation of the International Technical Advisory Board is currently visiting Myanmar, sharing its experience with Myanmar on census taking.
Myanmar Vice President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham met with board's members, led by Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, resident representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Thursday.
The two sides exchanged views on taking census on population growth and cooperation program on the undertaking in Myanmar next year.
In light of significant changes taking place in the country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon visited Myanmar in April 2012, agreeing to provide Myanmar with technical assistance and help mobilize financial support for the country's first census in 2014 since 1983.
Under an agreement signed in Nay Phi Taw, witnessed by Ban Ki- Moon and Myanmar Vice President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, Myanmar's 2014 population and housing census will be conducted in accordance with international standard.
Encouraged by Myanmar government's strong commitment to the project, Ban urged international donors to support Myanmar's census.
Stressing that the census conduct is a challenge to the country which requires nationwide access, Ban hoped that future ceasefires will make this possible, pointing out that the involvement of minorities and civil society will be crucial.
Sai voiced close cooperation with the UNFPA to oversee the quality of the census so that the result will be accurate and up to international standard.
In May last year, Myanmar and the UNFPA held a forum on plans for Myanmar's 2014 Population and Housing Census, stressing broad and effective partnership involving various government sectors, parliamentarians, civil society, the private sector and international organizations for a successful census.
The event was the first gathering of Myanmar's newly established Parliamentary Committee on Population and Social Development.
The Committee said "data obtained from the census will be linked to the national planning," calling on all stakeholders to cooperate in undertaking the 2014 census.
In August of last year, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNFPA Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin visited Myanmar and focused discussions with Myanmar President U Thein Sein on birth spacing and maternal health.
Their discussions also covered training of competent doctors and nurses for effective birth spacing and reproductive health measures, cooperation for youth policy and comprehensive health tasks in Myanmar and strides for achievement of Millennium Development Goals.
Myanmar's population grew 2.02 percent annually and in October 2011, the country's population was recorded as 60.38 million. Of them, the population of Yangon city was 6.12 million, 1.15 million more than 2010's.
The last population census in 1983 showed that, of the total 34. 12 million population of Myanmar, 24.79 percent were urban's. Of them, 31.99 percent were in Yangon region, the largest urban area in Myanmar.