VNR Lab “Strengthening the Use of Data for Evidence-based VNR”

20190717 VNR Lab

(Source: https://www.needpix.com/photo/934747/big-data-data-statistics-analytics-analysis)

As one of the two major review mechanisms for the implementation of Agenda 2030, Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) is prepared by member states to describe and evaluate their progress on achieving the 17 SDGs. VNR lab today brought Ghana, the United Kingdom, and Denmark to the table to share their experiences on engaging policymakers in utilizing SDG-related data, systematically cooperating with the civil society especially to create mutual benefits and integrating data sources to identify specific community needs. While countries have improved in generating data to measure SDGs, challenges remain as decision-makers are slow in response.

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HLPF 2018: Review of SDG#11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cities are the cradles of human civilisations. Currently more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas, consuming 75% of natural resources and emitting 60% of global greenhouse gases. Thus, the socio-economic well-being of human settlements remain the key pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The forum reviewed the implementation of SDG#11 and provided key policy recommendations to improve the socio-economic well-being of human settlements. It began with addressing the alarming urban sprawl and dwelling slums in East and Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Member states were thus called upon to prioritise housing to eliminate the homeless, not left to the realms of unregulated property markets and lucrative private developers.

The forum then followed up briefings on reliable and sustainable public transport. Regarding road safety, it was emphasised that road safety considerations must be integrated with sustainable transport and mobility in the urban settings. Member states were highly encouraged to design public transport in line with the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and cater the needs of vulnerable groups around the world.

The forum continued with briefings on urban environmental problems. Panellists attributed to these problems to urban decay and uncontrolled urban sprawl. These problems include pollution mainly from air, water and land. International communities were asked to leverage technologies to alleviate urban environmental problems and combat climate change. They were also called upon to design parks, sidewalks and streets to improve quality green infrastructure.

Meeting:
HLPF 2018: Review of SDGs implementation: SDG#11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Date/Location:
Wednesday 11th July 2018; 15:00 to 18:00; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speaker(s):
H.E. Mr. Marc Pecsteen, Vice-President of ECOSOC Presentations
Mr. Benjamin Rae, Sustainable Development Goal Monitoring Section, Statistics Division of UN DESA
Ms. Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Moderator
Mr. Rohit T. Aggarwala, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public
Affairs at Columbia University Panellists
Ms. Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner in Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, New York City, US
Mr. Jean Todt, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety Annotated Programme
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT
Ms. Meera AlShaikh, Project Manager and member of the SDG 11 Global Council, Smart Dubai, UAE Lead discussants
Mr. Wim Dries, Mayor of the city of Genk and President of the Flemish Association of Local Councils, Belgium
Ms. Shaila Shahid, International Centre for Climate Change and Development as Coordinator Gender and Climate Change (ICCCAD) (Women’s Major Group)

Written by: WIT Representative LAU Chun Ki

Eleventh Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Name

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Representatives gathered to discuss the United Nations Global Geo-spatial Information Management through a variety of discussions. The conference began as the  representative of the Netherlands was nominated president of this conference by acclamation. He began the discussion by claiming new data storage and distribution techniques should be reflected in the work of the UN. By adapting to new circumstances, the conference should continue to fulfill its mandate and role by taking the steps to maintain the quality of digitized databases. The Director of UNSD continued the conversation, asking the quality of information to be used in its appropriate context. He stated the main challenge regarding the integration of various information systems, statistical and geospatial, is their efficacy. Such systems must come together into one national information integrated system such that it can support the various policy concerns at the local, regional, and national levels. Furthermore, better communication is necessary as well, as member states are shown to be doing good work, but struggling to connect such work to the events at the high policy level so that they can receive sufficient resources. In addition to the election of the president, the officers of the conference were elected as well, along with the chairs, vice chairs, and rapporteurs of the four technical meetings. Ormeling then presented about the importance of national geospatial information. He claimed the SDG metrics for monitoring and measuring processes are vital to determine the lifecycles of SDGs, as geographical locations need identification. He reinstated the UNGGIM is not physically doing any work in member states, but rather giving advice and providing procedures. The meeting ended as Kerfoot presented about milestones of the past conferences, covering various aspects of their work including advancing national standardization, outreach to Africa, and establishing and improving operations.

Meeting: Eleventh United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names by the Economic and Social Council

Date/Location: Tuesday, August 8th, 2017; 10:30-13:00; Conference Room 3

Speakers: Representative of Germany; Representative of Netherlands; Director of UNSD; Representative of Canada; Representative of New Zealand; Representative of Canada; Representative of Indonesia; Representative of Australia; Representative of Norway; Representative of Palestine; Representative of South Africa; Representative of Azerbaijan; President of Conference; Director of UN Department of Statistical Information; Helen Kerfoot, Representative of Canada; Ferjan Ormeling

Written By: WIT Representative Janet Lee

Seventh Session of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information: Economic and Social Council

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Representatives gathered to coordinate, discuss, and propose work-plans to promote global frameworks, common principles, policies, guidelines interchangeability of geospatial data and services. Specifically, the discussion topics at hand were 1) integration of geospatial, statistical and other related information, 2) national geospatial data and information systems, and 3) geospatial information and services for disasters.

The representative of Poland started the discussion by asking the promotion of geospatial information. The representative of the United States agreed, endorsing the global geospatial framework and claiming such a framework would benefit member states and international efforts to leave noone behind. The representative of Cuba emphasized the need for creating  data sources and strengthening the dissemination of technology as well as the availability and accessibility of data. On the other hand, some representatives asked for the academic network to introduce more education in the fields of geospatial and statistical information, such as the representatives of Singapore and China. China emphasized the need for a post graduate program to promote the integration and monitor the progress of its geospatial group. Representatives from Barbados and Nepal provided a different perspective on the same matter. They asked member states help at the regional level, as small island developing states need not be left behind. Nepal, in particular, has been working with geospatial and statistical agencies while producing the socio-economical atlas. The representative of Argentina similarly claimed member states must do the utmost to assist statistical institutes as the representative of Urisa Caribbean suggested an overarching framework to be adopted in each respective country. Other countries spoke, suggesting the implementation of framework, knowledge management, consolidation, and practical cooperation. Wellenstein then spoke, affirming member states overcome complex challenges of the geospatial divide. She asked countries to recognize their own unique attributes and tailor the principles, guidelines, and good practices respectively.

Meeting: Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management Seventh Session by Economic and Social Council

Date/Location: Thursday, August 3rd, 2017; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 4

Speakers: Co-Chair; Representative of Poland; Representative of the United States of America; Peter Tiangco, Co-Chair of the Working Group on Disasters; Representative of Denmark; Representative of Cuba; Representative of Singapore; Representative of Peru; Representative of Canada; Representative of Australia; Representative of India; Representative of Nepal; Representative of Barbados; Representative of Malaysia; Representative of the Republic of South Korea; Representative of Argentina; Representative of Ecuador; Representative of Norway; Representative of Urisa Caribbean; Representative of Philippines; Representative of Cote D’ivoire; Representative of China; Representative of Costa Rica; Representative of Honduras; Representative of Eclac; Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Representative of the Dominican Republic; Representative of the State of Palestine; Representative of GEO; Representative of ESCAP; Representative of Mexico; Representative of Ethiopia; Representative of Japan; Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Representative of Belgium; Representative of the Netherlands; Representative of Jamaica; Representative of Spain; Representative of Burkina Faso; Representative of Slovenia; Representative of United Kingdom; Representative of Guatemala; Representative of Sweden; Anne Wellenstein; GGIM Secretariat

Written By: WIT Representative Janet Lee