UN World Data Forum

The Swiss Confederation is organising, in cooperation with the UN, the next edition of the United Nations World Data Forum, to be held from 18 to 21 October 2020 in Bern.

The United Nations World Data Forum

General Information

The United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF) is an event of global importance directly related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It provides a space for discussion between different communities of data producers and users. Bringing together different data communities of producers and users, and harnessing the power of technology and other innovative tools are both essential to fulfil the data demands of the 2030 Agenda. Also open to representatives of the economy, science, media, national statistical offices, as well as other administrations and fields, this community can engage in a productive dialogue and identify ways to mobilise the necessary resources for data development. The purpose of the forum is therefore to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with disaggregated, high quality data. These must be accessible, timely and reliable in order to objectively assess the situation in the various countries and to allow all data producers, including those outside the traditional statistical systems, to present innovative approaches for data compilation, processing and communication.

The UNWDF program is organised around six thematic areas:

  • New approaches to capacity development for better data;
  • Innovations and synergies across data ecosystems;
  • Leaving no one behind;
  • Understanding the world through data;
  • Building trust in data and statistics;
  • How far have we come?

Session proposals are submitted through an open call and are reviewed and chosen by the Program Committee. An interactive, dynamic program is being developed by the Program Committee, under the oversight of a subgroup of the UN Statistical Commission, the High-level Group for Partnership, Cooperation and Capacity Building (HLG-PCCB).

Previous editions of the UNWDF

The first edition of the forum was held in Cape Town, South Africa, in January 2017. The objective was to clarify and strengthen the role of statistics for sustainable development and to bring users and producers of data closer together. The Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data, adopted at the end of this first forum, serves as a guide for developing the statistical capacity needed to meet the data needs of the 2030 Agenda.

The second edition took place in October 2018 in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The objective of the forum was to bring together data producers and users to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The Dubai Declaration, adopted at the end of the forum, summarises developments over the past two years and describes areas where further investment should be made. The Declaration emphasises cooperation with private data producers and the financing of public statistics.

The United Nations World Data Forum 2020

The Swiss Confederation is organising, in cooperation with the UN, the next edition of the United Nations World Data Forum, to be held from 18 to 21 October 2020 in Bern. Approximatively 1500 people representing more than 100 countries are expected to attend this new edition in Bern. Guest speakers and VIPs will also be invited to enrich the discussions.

In the manner of the first two editions, the third forum is also expected to adopt a Declaration summarizing the discussions, launching projects and recording concrete results.

Road to Bern

As host country for the third forum, Switzerland has seized this opportunity by developing the “Road to Bern” programme, which will launch the debate for the United Nations World Data Forum. The “Road to Bern Concept” developed by the Swiss Confederation in cooperation with relevant stakeholders describes the idea of the “Road to Bern” and how the UN World Data Forum can be supported by discussions. Within the framework of Road to Bern, the Confederation will participate in existing conferences organised by external partners, and both at national and international level organise its own events, to discuss the topics of the UNWDF.

From 1 January until the official opening of the forum, on 18 October 2020, Road to Bern has two main goals:

• to support the debate of topics that will be discussed at the UNWDF 2020;
• to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Switzerland.

More detailed information pertaining to the Road to Bern can be found under Concept.