Working Together to Bring Vision into Reality

The United Nations World Data Forum 2018: a major step forward in the Arab region towards peace and prosperity, “leaving no one behind”

As a chief statistician -- a representative from the official statistical community in the Arab region and a member of the UN High Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity Building for statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development -- I feel honoured and enthusiastic to be part of the United Nations World Data Forum 2018 (UNWDF 2018). Holding this important forum in Dubai, UAE, emphasizes the commitment of our political leadership and all statisticians in the Arab region towards mainstreaming the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into policy frameworks, developing mid- and long-term visions for SDG implementation in our countries and ensuring that data and statistics are at the centre of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The UNWDF 2018 is expected to gather hundreds of politicians, government officials, specialists from National Statistical Offices (NSOs), international organizations and UN agencies, and experts from businesses, civil society and academia, representing diverse perspectives and bringing new ideas. They will discuss how to improve coordination, build partnerships, mobilize resources and bring innovation and modernization in the production, dissemination and use of data and statistics on sustainable development.

This forum comes at a crucial time, especially in light of the challenges facing the Arab region, which consume its resources and limit the prospects for human development. This event is considered as an international platform not only in terms of the global participation expected, but for the wide selection of stakeholders from all sectors, including public, private and civil society, who will exchange best practices and experiences on SDG implementation.

A Win-Win Process

Better coordination and collaboration and new multi-stakeholder partnerships are needed to approach development cooperation from a much broader perspective, to overcome mutual challenges and introduce innovation for improved, modernized national statistical and data systems.

The official statistical community needs to capitalize on effective utilization of human and financial resources, for better use and integration of all data sources, to meet the call for a data revolution and harness the full potential power of data, focusing on best practices in the use of official statistics and application of international standards.
The 2030 Agenda and its SDGs provide a pathway towards a more sustainable and resilient future. I look forward to the forum as an opportunity to discuss how to increase the capacity of National Statistical Offices and develop monitoring systems at the national, regional and global level, and how to define criteria and methodologies to transform data into official statistics using advanced statistical techniques, to ensure high quality and reliable data that can be used by all stakeholders and advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Together, We Can Bring this Ambitious Vision to Reality

Broader participation in the UNWDF 2018 is an important contribution to taking action for better data for the 2030 Agenda and ensuring representation of People. By joining this Forum we move one step further to enhance Partnership at the national, regional and global levels. In supporting this Forum we help to protect our Planet from dangers and threats. The success of this Forum is a means to better implement the 2030 Agenda to achieve Peace, security and Prosperity in our region. With all our partners, the Agenda can be implemented across the globe to ensure that no one is left behind.

Call for Contributions…Join Us

The Forum's Programme Committee has issued an open invitation to politicians, statisticians, practitioners, scientists, investors, activists and people from all sectors to contribute to the shaping of the Forum by submitting proposals, creative ideas and innovations to be considered for inclusion in the UNWDF 2018 taking place in Dubai in October.

You are encouraged to share your experiences and best practices towards bringing sustainable development to all and building a resilient future. Please submit your proposals for Forum sessions by 31 January 2018.

Please spread the word, and hope to see you in Dubai, 22-24 October 2018.

Ola Awad is President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and former President of the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS) for the years 2015 -2017. She is a member of the Programme Committee for the UNWDF 2018.