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Guterres: Trusted data helps ‘understand changing world’




Coronavirus disease caseloads across the world are shown in a computerized map. / Photograph courtesy of UN

Current, reliable and trusted data help us to “understand the changing world” in which we live, the United Nations (UN) chief said in his message for World Statistics Day.

Statistics are “fundamental for evidence-based policymaking… and drive the transformations that are needed,” in order to ensure no one is left behind, upheld Secretary-General António Guterres.

And the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the increasing importance of data to save lives and to recover better.

Data permeates all aspects of the UN’s work and is critical to unlock potential across the globe. As the world strives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Guterres flagged his recently launched Data Strategy for Action by Everyone, Everywhere, as a tool to provide greater “insight, impact and integrity.”

“On World Statistics Day, let us commit to invest in and support the vital role of data in meeting the challenges of our time” and to “spotlight the role of statistics in advancing sustainable development for all,” urged the Secretary-General.

The third World Statistics Day coincides with the 2020 Virtual UN World Data Forum, where over the course of three days, thousands of data experts are discussing the importance of strengthening data for a changing world.

The Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, Houlin Zhao, told the meeting that his UN agency is “very much invested in using data as a tool for evidence-based policy making.”