Data map

Data and international organisations

Questions around data, including big data, have come to the forefront of debates in various fields for many years now. While the business sector has already made tremendous progress in utilising the potential of data, other sectors, including international affairs, are still in the early stages of integrating the potential of new and larger forms of data in their daily work.

In Geneva, the main operational hub of the United Nations and the international system, data appears in two major realms. First, data is a tool used to develop better policies on health, trade, migration, and climate, to name just a few relevant areas. Second, data is a topic of diplomatic negotiations addressing privacy, security, digital trade, and other important issues. In addition, Geneva hosts numerous events and discussions focusing on data from the technological, economic, and policy perspectives.

To improve understanding on this quickly evolving issue, the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) is organising a series of activities and events focusing on how data is shaping our digital future.

Data Talks

The GIP organises regular meetings that converge actors in International Geneva who are concerned with the potential, as well as the risks, related to data management in international affairs. The meetings address issues such as cloud computing, data protection, open data, data immunities, and data for monitoring the sustainable development goals (SDGs). By sharing best practices and experiences, the meetings aim to share lessons learned across silos and institutions. If you would like to join the meetings, please send an email to

The outcomes of the first four Data Talks discussions are captured in the short publication, Data and International Organisations: Navigating cross-sectoral data challenges, which maps the main challenges and best practices of data-related issues. The data talks have covered the following topics:

Data and diplomacy

The GIP’s work on data is informed by research conducted on data diplomacy by DiploFoundation, including its study on the potential of big data for diplomacy and international affairs, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

For more information about our approach and activities, please contact us at

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