Better data, better lives: Celebrating 70 years of global statistical cooperation

Since its first session in 1947, the UN Statistical Commission has brought together senior statisticians from across the globe to make sure that all nations speak the same statistical language, using harmonized data. The goal has been clear from the start: getting the numbers right to help improve the lives of people around the world. And today, statistics are more vital than ever before. They give shape to our societies, point us in the right direction when interventions fall short, and show us where progress was made.

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International Day highlights forests’ role in sustainable energy

Until the advent of fossil fuels, for thousands of years, wood was the primary source of energy for human populations. Today, over 2 billion people worldwide, in rural and urban areas, still rely on wood for their primary energy needs. Wood constitutes the primary source of energy for cooking and heating in many developing countries, where nearly 90 per cent of fuelwood and charcoal is consumed.  read more

Youth show commitment towards SDGs at ECOSOC Youth Forum

Acknowledging that youth play a key role to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations hosted several hundred young leaders at the annual ECOSOC Youth Forum in New York on 30-31 January, to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. For the first time since its inception, the forum also featured a designated SDG Media Zone, a platform for direct interactive discussions between youth activists and development veterans on how to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. read more

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UN calls for commitments to safeguard the world’s oceans ahead of first major conference

Calling for concrete actions to protect the oceans, the United Nations has launched an online register to collect voluntary commitments made by UN Member States, businesses, civil society organizations, the UN System and other intergovernmental organizations that can meaningfully contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14. read more

Expert voices

Data to help measure gender equality

This month, gender equality and data to improve people’s lives will take center stage at UN Headquarters in New York, with the UN Statistical Commission taking place, immediately followed by the Commission on the Status of Women. As it was some 30 years ago since UN DESA initiated the work on gender statistics, we asked Francesca Grum, Chief of the Social and Housing Statistics Section in UN DESA’s Statistics Division, how it all got started and how data plays a role for women’s empowerment.

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In case you missed it

End Poverty in all its forms everywhere remains a paramount challenge, but it can be done

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require coherent, coordinated and strong social policies that leave no one behind. The Commission for Social Development concluded its fifty-fifth session on 10 February 2017, approving three draft resolutions on youth, disability and the social dimensions of New Partnership for Africa’s Development.  read more


This year marks 10 years since the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) was adopted, setting minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples around the world.

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20-24 March, New York
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