Summary of the Second UN World Data Forum

A Brief History of the UN World Data Forum

The decision to organize a series of UN World Data Forums followed a recommendation in the report titled, “A World That Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development,” which was presented in November 2014 by the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. Subsequently, the UNSC decided that a UN World Data Forum on Sustainable Development Data would be the suitable platform for intensifying cooperation with various professional groups, such as national statistical offices (NSOs), information technology and geospatial information managers, and data scientists among other representatives of government, intergovernmental organizations and civil society.

The first UN World Data Forum convened from 15-18 January 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa. At the conclusion of the event, the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data was launched. The Action Plan was prepared by the HLG-PCCB and was the result of a call to recognize that modernizing NSOs is essential to achieving the SDGs by 2030. The Plan sets out a framework for member countries to assess, build and strengthen NSO capacity, and is divided into six strategic areas: coordination and strategic leadership on data for sustainable development; innovation and modernization of national statistical systems; strengthening of basic statistical activities and programmes, with particular focus on addressing the monitoring needs of the 2030 Agenda; dissemination and use of sustainable development data; multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development data; and mobilization of resources and coordination of efforts for statistical capacity building. This Plan was adopted by the UNSC during its meeting in March 2017.

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