World Statistics Day, celebrated for the first time on 20 October 2010 worldwide, highlighted the vital importance of statistics to respond to present and future challenges and to measure progress.
“Statistics are a vital tool for economic and social development, including our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For development to succeed, we need data collection and statistical analysis of poverty levels, access to education and the incidence of disease,” stated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
At a conference in Geneva, WMO representatives explained how WMO coordinates data collection for weather and climate analysis and forecasting; tracks long-term global temperature changes and weather and climate extremes worldwide; monitors atmospheric composition, including greenhouse gases and ozone, and develops relevant information services for sectors such as agriculture, transport and tourism. They highlighted the efforts of the WMO and its partners in ensuring the development and use of high standard global datasets for climate assessment.
Geneva – which has the world’s highest concentration of international organizations - hosted the conference to provide an interface between statistical practitioners and policy makers, academia and civil society.