Pochmann: IBGE's Goal to Historically Depict Brazil

In an exclusive interview, Márcio Pochmann, the leader of one of the world's largest statistical information institutions, discussed the IBGE's role in the G20. He highlighted the historic moment of Brasil's G20 presidency and outlined plans to advance the global dialogue on care work, homelessness, and the use and commercialization of personal data.

In an exclusive interview with the G20 website, Márcio Pochmann, IBGE president, discussed strategic collaboration with statistical institutions of the forum's member countries | Photo: Audiovisual G20 Brasil
In an exclusive interview with the G20 website, Márcio Pochmann, IBGE president, discussed strategic collaboration with statistical institutions of the forum's member countries | Photo: Audiovisual G20 Brasil

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE) is one of the world's largest institutions dedicated to national statistics. Under Brasil's G20 presidency, the IBGE is leading efforts among member countries' organizations to create a comprehensive profile of their populations, reaffirming the institute's prominence on the international stage.

In an exclusive interview with the G20 website, Márcio Pochmann discussed strategic collaborations with the statistical institutions of the forum's member countries. He highlighted the national impact of the new Geographic School Atlas , which positions Brasil at the center of the world map. This historic moment celebrates Brasil's leadership among the world's major economies in discussions on a just ecological transition and the fight against hunger, poverty, and inequality.

Pochmann also discussed the creation of a national system for geoscience, data, and statistics to consolidate population information. This initiative aims to counter the business models of major technology companies that commercialize personal data globally. This demand from the United Nations has been a topic of debate within the G20.

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Back on the Global Stage

After a period of limited participation in global statistical and geoscience forums, IBGE has reemerged as an active participant since last year. Its renewed engagement aligns with Brasil's leadership role, particularly within the G20. IBGE recognizes the need for this collaboration to reflect the importance of statistics and the consistency of data representation, moving away from a perspective solely originating from the Global North.

Key G20 Strategy

We are deeply committed to understanding and addressing the dynamics of this new global movement. Within the G20 framework, IBGE is working across three dimensions with the statistical divisions of member countries: (1) In collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO), we are discussing and ensuring the methodological consistency of national accounts related to care work, which has gained prominence, especially with the rise of remote work. Currently, national accounts that form the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) do not consider this type of economic activity. (2) Partnering with the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger, and the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship (Ministérios do Desenvolvimento e Assistência Social, Família e Combate à Fome - MDS, e dos Direitos Humanos e da Cidadania - MDHC), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we are tackling the pressing issues of work and homelessness, which are prevalent in major Brazilian cities. This is not an isolated phenomenon; major cities in the Global North are also experiencing these challenges. There is no established methodology or measurement for these situations that affect a segment of our populations. (3) We are organizing a technical meeting with representatives from national and state institutes to address youth-related concerns. The children and youth population of the G20 countries for the year 2050 is already born. It is crucial to develop a statistical methodology to effectively track and monitor this demographic segment.

Mapping G20 inequalities

IBGE has partnered with Rio de Janeiro's State government through Rio's G20 House to systematically produce reports that provide data on the realities of G20 countries. The first report, (Creating Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the G20 - Inequality Report) focused on inequality within G20 countries. Despite representing the world's largest concentrations of wealth, these countries also exhibit significant disparities. The report utilized frameworks and indicators from the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to measure and present these inequalities. IBGE considers this contribution crucial for providing information to guide the decisions of ministers and heads of state. The partnerhship's originality lies in its ability to produce information that highlights inequalities within countries, reflecting Brasil's concerns about new global governance, hunger, inequality, and environmental sustainability.

Brasil's global position

IBGE's role is to depict reality, serving as both a postcard and a compass for understanding Brasil's direction. Recognizing that the world is a sphere, we identified the G20 member countries but placed Brasil at the center of the world map. This symbolic gesture celebrates Brasil's role and emphasizes the importance for Brazilians to recognize their country's unique position in history, leading the G20. Historically, Brasil has often played a secondary role, but today it is regaining its prominence on the international stage. This is a tribute to the special moment of Brasil leading the G20. The response has been very gratifying and has encouraged us to highlight Brasil's leadership in various domains, including commerce, technology, social issues, and international politics.

Personal data governance

One of IBGE's primary focuses is developing a national system for geoscience, statistics, and data management. Official information and public data produced by national statistical institutes now face challenges from the rise and influence of large multinational corporations, commonly referred to as Big Tech. Addressing this issue is crucial within the G20, as it represents a new form of underdevelopment. Countries produce or make available their raw personal data, which these companies then process, refine, and leverage as a central component of their business models. These corporations virtually do not generate jobs in the countries where the data originates, do not pay taxes, operate remotely, and undermine national sovereignty. IBGE has been actively highlighting this issue and advocating for the establishment of a comprehensive national system for geoscience, statistics, and data. Such a system does not yet exist in many countries, especially within the G20. The UN is also concerned about establishing a system that integrates various databases from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among others. This issue is critically important today, and IBGE hopes to advance discussions on it within the G20.

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