United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management convened its inaugural meeting

27 October 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Dr. Paul Cheung, Director of the Statistics Division, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) who is instrumental in the vision and realization of UN-GGIM

The International Federation of Surveyors welcomes the convening of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management and congratulates Dr. Vanessa V. Lawrence, Mr. Seong-An Leem and Mr. Esteban Toha Gonzales on their election to helm this Committee.

The Committee of Experts met for the first time after the successful conclusion of the United Nations First High Level Forum on GGIM on 27th October 2011. The meeting elected Dr. Vanessa V Lawrence, Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey, United Kingdom and Mr. Seong-An Leem, President, National Geographic Information Institute, Republic of Korea as Co-Chairs together with Mr. Esteban Toha Gonzales, Executive Secretary, Sistema Nacional de Coordinacion de Informacion Territorial, Chile as the Rapporteur for this all important Committee.

This Committee will comprise experts from all Member States as well as experts from international organizations, including FIG, as observers and will be supported by the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Cartographic Section of the Department of Field Support of the United Nations. The International Federation of Surveyors has observer status within the United Nations and has been since 1970.

The Committee of Experts does has its work cut out and will need to work on the contribution of the Committee to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20 Conference) in June 2012 arguing that appropriate geospatial information and infrastructure will provide the solid information base that constitute a powerful tool for the monitoring of goals and targets on sustainable development. The Committee is required to establish an inventory of issues to be addressed by the Committee in future sessions. This inventory will also serve as a useful reference document on the scope and timeliness of the work of the Committee. The Committee also need to review the outcome of the inaugural session of the United Nations High Level Forum on GGIM.

It should also be noted that the Chair of JBGIS, Prof Dr. William Cartwright, was included as a member of the “extended” Bureau for this Committee of Experts. The Bureau has the United Kingdom and Republic of Korea as Co-chair and Chile as the Rapportuer. The “extended” Bureau will also include chairs from the United Nations regional cartographic structures and the European Union.

CheeHai TEO
October 2011

11 November 2011

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