UNWDF 2020: Road to Bern

Article, 16.01.2020

Achievement of the sustainable development goals set out in the 2030 Agenda can only be measured with the help of official statistics. These will be the key focus of the third United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF) to be held in Bern from 18 to 21 October 2020. Under the label of the ʹRoad to Bernʹ, a series of events is planned in the run-up to this high-profile international conference.

Official statistics enable fact-based political decision making and fulfil an essential democratic role. It also allows information about the implementation of the 2030 Agenda to reach the general public. The Confederation will be involved in several conferences on data or sustainable development in Switzerland and abroad, leading up to the opening of the Forum on 18 October. It will also organise its own events, the first of which will take place during the World Economic Forum in Davos (WEF) on the subject of health. These different events, under the banner of the ʹRoad to Bernʹ, will also raise public awareness of the statistical challenges posed by the 2030 Agenda and lend support to its implementation in Switzerland. Some events will emphasise the need for statistics in areas that are still often lacking in data.

Tasks facing the UNWDF

The UNWDF was founded by the UN Member States in response to the 2030 Agenda, to meet the growing needs for data to measure sustainable development and harness the power of technology and other innovative tools. It also aims to encourage all countries to publish high-quality data that is standardised, comparable, accessible, up to date and reliable. This is a formidable challenge, especially for countries whose statistical systems are less well developed.