New portal tracks trade’s contribution to sustainable development

21 October 2020
News

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The SDG Trade Monitor offers a one-stop shop for users to obtain updated and disaggregated official data on global trade’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Geneva-based trade agencies UNCTAD, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) jointly launched the SDG Trade Monitor on 20 October during the commemoration of the third World Statistics Day.

The monitor is a web-based database for tracking progress made in international trade towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It’s a one-stop shop for users – including government policymakers and analysts – to obtain updated and disaggregated official data on trade’s contribution to the SDGs.

UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant, while launching the monitor, cited the famous quote by statistician Edward Deming on the importance of data measurement and analysis: “In God we trust; all others must bring data.”

Ms. Durant said: “To design the right policies, we need data and information, and we need to make the best use of the expertise we can offer together.”

She emphasized the importance of official data in the ongoing global fight against COVID-19. The pandemic has caused an unprecedented decline in international trade, putting in jeopardy the progress made towards the SDGs.

Customized analysis

The monitor allows users to conduct customized analysis using official trade-related SDG indicators and other complementary measures to assess trade’s contribution under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This inter-agency product complements each agency’s individual contribution to the body of knowledge on sustainable development through trade.

UNCTAD, for example, publishes the SDG Pulse, which presents statistical updates and data-driven analysis on the indicators for which it is a custodian or co-custodian, including those on foreign direct investment.

It also highlights a thematic issue of immediate relevance. This year’s theme addresses the many impacts of COVID-19 from a statistical perspective.

These include conceptual and organizational challenges being faced by national statistical offices around the world and the measurement challenges in producing new, comparable COVID-19 statistics.

The SDG Pulse complements the SDG Trade Monitor by covering a wider range of SDG indicators and providing narratives from a statistical perspective.