UN World Data Forum in Bern cannot take place in October 2020

Press releases, 01.07.2020

The Federal Council was informed at its sitting of 1 July 2020 that the organisation committee and the United Nations have decided that the United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF) cannot take place in October 2020 and should be held at a later date. The UNWDF is an event of global importance in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This, the third meeting of the UNWDF, will be organised in Bern by the Swiss Confederation in cooperation with the United Nations.

The UNWDF cannot take place from 18 to 21 October as planned. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated difficulties in planning a global event, particularly with regard to travel restrictions. A reduced virtual form of the Forum is planned for this autumn, which will provide an opportunity to address the most important topics, including data needs and data use during pandemics.

The UNWDF is intended to bring together participants from different regions, countries and data communities ‒ data producers and data users from both the public and private sectors ‒ to foster exchanges and engage in a productive dialogue. It was launched by the UN Member States in line with the 2030 Agenda, to meet the growing needs for data and to harness the power of technology and other innovative tools. It also aims to encourage all countries to publish high-quality standard sets of data that are comparable, accessible, up to date and reliable. This is a challenge, especially for countries whose statistical systems are less well developed.

Implications of UNWDF postponement
The series of events organised under the ‘Road to Bern' banner will continue. The Swiss Confederation will be involved in a number of data and sustainability conferences in Switzerland and abroad right up until the opening of the forum. These events will raise public awareness of the statistical challenges posed by the 2030 Agenda and support its implementation in Switzerland over the course of this year and next.

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