The United Nations General Assembly designated 20 October 2010 as World Statistics Day under the general theme of “Celebrating the many achievements of official statistics” and the core values of service, integrity and professionalism. It invited organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations to observe this special day.
Geneva, a home for many international organizations, is at the crossroads of world statistics. Geneva became an undisputed research centre that initiates, thoroughly develops and disseminates statistics that cover all parts of our life. Released statistics are made to (a) facilitate evidence-based policy decision-making at the international, regional and national levels; (b) provide academia with ready-to-use data for various researches; and (c) give the general public a user-friendly tool to analyse present and future trends.
This distinctiveness gave Geneva a special mandate for the World Statistics Day celebration. On 20 October 2010, Geneva-based organizations – including ILO, ITU, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNHCR, WHO, WIPO, WMO and WTO – in collaboration with the Permanent Missions, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, academia and media, held a conference to discuss how statistics help solve the world’s most urgent and long-term issues.
The conference, entitled “Measuring a Globalized World: the Geneva Contribution”, raised public awareness about official statistics and their value, advocated visibility and support for statistical projects, and reinforced ties among the Geneva international organizations engaged in the production of statistics. The discussion addressed critical questions that shape the world’s economic, social and environmental agenda. The sessions were led by the chief statisticians of the co-organizers, high-level speakers and invited guests. Through wide participation, the conference stimulated dialogue among users and providers of statistics.
A special brochure “Geneva – Hub of International Statistics” was published to commemorate World Statistics Day. The publication highlights the wide range of statistical activities carried out by the international organizations in Geneva, offering a comprehensive inventory of the local statistical resources. The brochure show why statistics are so important and what role they can play in providing a basis for the analysis of critical issues.