World Data Forum opens in Cape Town

The Opening Ceremony of the World Data Forum took place on Sunday 15 January 2017 at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, against the backdrop of the iconic Table Mountain. Speakers included the Hon Jeff Radebe, South African Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and chairperson of the National Planning Commission of South Africa; Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Stefan Schweinfest, Director UN Statistics Division; and Dr Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General for South Africa. Called for in the report of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, A World that Counts, the forum is one of many steps being taken by the statistics and data community to rise to the challenge of putting systems in place to gather and analyse the data needed to inform of the 169 targets and 230 indicators for the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda...

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HLPF: synthesis report of the 2016 VNRs / summary of workshop held by 2017 VNR countries now available online

We have received the following from DESA:

Dear All,

We wanted to draw your attention to 2 new documents that are now available on our website:

1. A synthesis of the 2016 VNRs: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/126002016_VNR_Synthesis_Report.pdf

2. A summary of a meeting held from 15-16 December in New York for the 40 countries that have volunteered to make VNRs at the 2017 HLPF: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/12604Summary%20of%20VNR%20meeting%2015-16%20Dec_FINAL.pdf

More information on the 2017 HLPF is available at:



Expert Group Meeting of the ECOSOC President, 20-21 January

The ECOSOC President is holding a two-day retreat on 20-21 January on “Advancing implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through policy integration”. Its objectives are:

  • To facilitate preparations for the 2017 HLPF and foster synergies with the FfD and STI forums
  • To engage in discussions aimed at ensuring a coherent review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level in light of its holistic and indivisible nature in the course of this first four year cycle...

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UN World Data Forum set to kick off ambitious agenda, launching innovative data solutions to improve lives


First UN World Data Forum begins in Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday 15 January 2017

The Opening Ceremony for the First UN World Data Forum will be held in Cape Town, South Africa on the evening of Sunday 15 January 2017. The work of the Forum itself will begin on the following morning with an Opening Plenary at 09.00. Simultaneous sessions will then be held. For full programme see: http://undataforum.org/WorldDataForum/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/UNWDF-Programme-20170107.pdf

For those unable to be in Cape Town, why not join the conversation through Twitter on 11 January 10.00 (EST)/15.00 (UTC) at #UNDataForum


2017 Regional Preparatory Meetings for High-level Political Forum

The following dates and venues have been announced for the Regional Preparatory Meetings for the High-level Political Forum in 2017:

ESCAP: Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APSFD), 29-31 March 2017, Bangkok, Thailand

ECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD) 2017, 25 April 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

ECLAC: Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development (LAC RFSD), 26-28 April 2017, Mexico City

ECA Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD), 16-19 May, Venue to be decided


Background paper on Progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for WHO Executive Board Meeting

The 140th session of the Executive Board will have before it a background paper Progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, (EB140/32). Part I it explains how health can be transformed by, and play a transformative role in, achieving the 17 SDGs and Part II describes some of the ways in which the 2030 Agenda is reshaping WHO’s work at the country level, with coordination at regional and global levels...

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Report on the work for the review of progress towards the SDGs

Progress reports from the UN Secretary-General

The UN Secretary-General has issued a report on the work for the review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It describes the work carried out by the UN Statistics Division (UNSD) in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

Secretary-General’s first progress report and Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016

As stated in the report, insofar as the Secretary-General’s first progress report (E/2016/75) is based on data and storylines provided by agencies across the whole UN system, some targets are not reflected because of a lack of data or because their indicators are still undergoing methodological development…

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Report of the IAEG-SDGs for 48th Session of Statistical Commission

The Report of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), E/CN.3/2017/2, is now available on the UN Statistical Commission website. It gives an overview of the “global indicator framework for the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” presenting a proposal “for refinements of a selected group of indicators, a proposed schedule for revisions of the indicator framework and a mechanism for moving indicators from one tier to another.” There will also be a background document on the work plans for indicators classified as Tier III by the IAEG-SDGs…

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Latest information on the HLPF, July 2017

Lotta Tahtinen, DESA/DSD, briefed members of the NGO Major Group on the preparations for the High-level Political Forum (HLPF), to be held from 10-19 July. It will include a 5-day Expert-level segment, followed by 3-day Ministerial meeting. The theme will be Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world, and the following sustainable development goals will be examined in depth: SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 3, SDG 5, SDG 9, SDG 14 and SDG 17 (which is considered each year)... 

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