Events in May and June 2021

After a fairly calm start to the year, the pace of events has picked up again. Whereas two events took place in May, the month of June was particularly busy with a total of seven events.


  • Sustainable Development Forum, 18 May

The forum is a national network, which opens up new prospects and favours the implementation of sustainable development processes and actions and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Switzerland. It is aimed at representatives from the cantons, towns, communes and the Confederation, as well as at other public and private organisations concerned by the subject and involved in implementing the 2030 Agenda. This year’s theme was ‘Equal opportunities and inclusion – how to succeed in strong implementation in the Swiss cantons, towns and communes? ‘.

Experience the event again at the following link:

  • 6th Road to Bern dialogue via Geneva on environmental data, 19 May

The 6th dialogue for digital cooperation on the Road to Bern via Geneva took place on 19 May. Co-hosts were the PNUE and the OMC. The theme was ‘Using Data and Digital Technologies to Advance Sustainable Trade and Environmental Transparency’. Through two diversified panels (government representatives, co-host institutions and other international organisations, academia, the private sector, and civil society), discussions focused on initiatives under way to promote this environmental transparency in terms of the impact on our production cycles. Data are often fragmented and due to a lack of standards, interoperability can prove difficult.

The two sessions highlighted the following aspects in particular:

– the need for environmental transparency and traceability from production to consumption to avoid additional hurdles to trade;

– the usefulness of environmental data to stimulate sustainable trade;

– the need to ensure inclusion in developing countries;

– the need to stimulate investments by using new green technologies

– the need to ensure the credibility of environmental data by establishing approved standards.

These cross-sector discussions revealed several ways to bring together and standardise action to ensure clear information for the consumer, such as a digital product passport, displaying the environmental impact assessment and production route.


  • Tour de Suisse: First stage in Fribourg with Jacques Ducrest, 5 June

The Road to Bern Tour de Suisse aims to meet the Swiss population and discuss the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Accompanied by a car decorated in the sustainable development goals colours, Jacques Ducrest, Federal Council Delegate, 2030 Agenda, went to Fribourg for the first stage. Don’t miss the next stages in Lausanne, Basel, Bern or Neuchâtel!

  • Regional conference on the regional accounts, 9-10 June

Swiss cooperation, the organisation United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), Afristat and the National Statistics Institute of Mali invited you to a workshop held on two mornings on the production of regional accounts. The conference started by focusing on the pilot national regional accounts project in Mali before turning to the experiences of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco.

  • Remote sensing at the service of sustainable towns – a UNWDF and Road to Bern event organised in Warsaw, 17 June

Organised in cooperation with the Embassy of Poland, this one-day event took place in hybrid form in Warsaw and online. The event focused particularly on sustainable development goal 11, i.e. ‘sustainable cities and communities’.

While Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński (Undersecretary of State for the climate and environment, Poland), gave an outstanding and much-awaited speech, two round tables gave structure to the day’s discussions.

The first panel was an opportunity to discuss the topic ‘From Smart City to Smart Community’, with contributions from Annalisa Donati (Acting Secretary General of Eurisy, the European Association of Space Agencies), Dennis Mwaniki (Globa Urban Observatory Unit, Research and Capacity Development Branch, UN-Habitat) and Georges-Simon Ulrich (Director General, Swiss Federal Statistical Office).

The second panel focused on ‘The Power of Smart Data’, with further quality contributors such as Adrienne Grêt-Regamey (Chair of Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development – ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Paul Schreyer (Director and Chief Statistician of the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate) and Stefaan Verhulst (Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory at New York University, United States America).

This discussion-filled day allowed participants to reflect and provide solutions on how to combine data and technology to improve the quality of life in the cities and make them smarter and more sustainable. Up to 700 people watched this event live throughout the day.

To watch the event again:

  • Challenges and opportunities in strengthening official local statistics: Madagascar-Switzerland discussions, 18 June

This hybrid public conference was organised with the Embassy of Madagascar on 18 June 2021 After a short presentation of the Swiss statistics system (by Petra Keller, FSO) and of the Malagasy statistics system (by M.T. Razafimiarantsoa, Director of the National Statistics Institute of Madagascar), the respective challenges and opportunities of specific situations were discussed. The first round was dedicated to the main challenges and/or opportunities and the second to the envisaged solutions. Each of the three Swiss and Malagasy panellists thus had the opportunity to express themselves from the perspective of their respective national statistics system. From Switzerland (Laurent Inversion (FSO), Hervé Monfort (Geneva) and Gérard Geiser (Neuchâtel) were able to describe the situation in their specialist field/canton.

The event was rounded off by a session of questions and answers with questions from the public (participating in person) in Antananarivo.

In an age of excess information, with its opportunities and challenges, the meeting wished to contribute to thoughts on the roles and necessity of a strong statistics system – at a centralised and decentralised level – by means of a fruitful discussion between the different situations in Madagascar and Switzerland.

  • Using unconventional data sources for official statistics in the LAC region, 24 June

The second webinar for the Latin America region took place in June, organised by DANE & CEPEI.

As a reminder, five webinars are planned in all, three of which still have to take place, in August, September and November.

The second webinar in the series ‘From the LAC region to Bern’ aimed to discuss the current situation regarding unconventional data sources to produce 2030 Agenda indicators in the LAC region. Emphasis was placed on the advantages of these data sources, the identification of the main data gaps, and the capacities and financial resources required.

Several panellists contributed, including Bertrand Loison (Vice Director, Head of Data Science and Statistical Methods Division), Paloma Merodio (Vice President, INEGI), (Eduardo Luiz Gançalves Rios Neto; President, IBGE) and Juan Daniel Oviedo (Director, Dane).

The event lasted one and a half hours and finished with a session for questions from the participants and answers, with a closing remark by the Director of the Statistics Division of ECLAC, on the presentations, ECLAC’s work and the UNWDF.

More than 100 people followed the event online.

  • Data Science and Official Statistics – ‘Road to Bern’ webinar, 30 June

As the last event in the month of June, Facebook, the United Nations Statistics Division and the FSO organised a webinar on data science and official statistics.

The event lasted one and a half hours and took place online. After an introduction by Ronald Jansen (Chief Data Innovation and Capacity Branch, United Nations Statistics Division), several contributions set the tempo for the webinar; Jyothi Nookua (Facebook AI) and Oliver Mahoney (Data Science Campus, Office for National Statistics, UK) who addressed the topic of machine learning, as well as the remarks made by Dr Bertrand Loison (Vice Director, Federal Statistical Office, Switzerland) and Andrew Trask (Leader, Openmined).

This webinar was a great success and much interest was shown in the topics covered, borne out by the 1200 registrations received.