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Following one of the main recommendations contained in the report entitled “A World That Counts” , presented in November 2014 by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Independent Expert and Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Statistical Commission agreed that a United Nations World Data Forum on Sustainable Development Data (UN World Data Forum) would be the suitable platform for intensifying cooperation with various professional groups, such as information technology, geospatial information managers, data scientists, and users, as well as civil society stakeholders.

The High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB) leads the organization of the UN World Data Forum, under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission and in close consultation with Member States and international partners. The Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs supports the organization of the Forum in its role as Secretariat of the Commission and the HLG-PCCB.

The first United Nations World Data Forum was hosted from 15 to 18 January 2017 by Statistics South Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. The second UN World Data Forum will be hosted by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority of the United Arab Emirates from 22 to 24 October 2018 in Dubai.