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World Data Forum: strong international cooperation for quality data


22.10.2020 – The United Nations World Data Forum took place from 19 to 21 October 2020 in digital format due to COVID-19. The event brought together several thousand experts to find innovative solutions in order to meet the need for better quality data to implement the 2030 Agenda and to control the pandemic.

Every two years, the United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF) brings together participants from various regions, countries and data communities, covering the public and private sectors and both producers and users of data. It strives to find innovative solutions and intensify cooperation to ensure better quality data.

The online 2020 edition brought together more than 10 000 participants from over 100 countries. It was opened by high-level representatives on 19 October. Federal Councillor Alain Berset, Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, the General Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Mark Suzman and other special guests took the floor.

More than 60 sessions held

The virtual forum included three high-level plenary sessions, 30 live parallel sessions, plus more than 30 pre-recorded sessions and virtual exhibitions. Several key topics were discussed including ways to improve the use of data for policy-making and the development of response measures to COVID-19, strategies to protect privacy and trust in data, as well as solutions to improve data availability and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The three-day event provided an opportunity to intensify cooperation in the area of data for sustainable development and once again to make an urgent appeal for more funding for better quality data.

UN World Data Forum 2021

In recent years, Switzerland has regularly advocated the adoption of indicators which will allow for more reliable measurement of the sustainable development goals. It is in this context that the Swiss Confederation has decided to organise, in collaboration with the UN, the third edition of the UNWDF which will take place on-site in Bern from Sunday 3 October to Wednesday 6 October 2021.

The Road to Bern continues

The Road to Bern, a series of national and international events, will continue throughout 2021 until the opening of the UNWDF in October. All the work undertaken as part of the Road to Bern to prepare the dialogues and ensure the smooth running of the UNWDF will continue until the Forum takes place in 2021. Building on the success of the Road to Bern, over the next 50 weeks other events will develop key themes that are likely to be extended to cover the most current topical issues.

The website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) provide all relevant information on the Forum as well as the planned series of national and international events.

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Swiss Statistics
The Swiss Federal Statistics Office publishes information on the situation and developments in Switzerland in a multitude of fields and plays a part in enabling comparisons at an internal level.
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