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UN Data Forum Harnesses Power of Data for Sustainable Development

The inaugural United Nations World Data Forum kicked off today in the South African city of Cape Town, bringing together more than 1,500 data experts from more than 100 countries, with the aim of building broad consensus on how to harness the power of data for sustainable development.

Organized by the UN in cooperation with the South African government, the four-day gathering also aims to rally support behind a new global action plan.

“The Forum comes at a crucial time for strengthening data and statistical capacity globally. Countries all around the world are mobilizing to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which they adopted at a UN summit two years ago,” Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told a press conference at the opening of the Forum.

“To do so, it is essential to have accurate, reliable, timely and disaggregated data. We need to track the unprecedented range of economic, social and environmental goals that are integrated under sustainable development. This will require everyone in the statistics and data community – from governments, the private sector, the scientific and academic communities and civil society -- to find ways to work across different domains and create partnerships and synergies,” he added.

UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto

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