The new Bureau to lead the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) has been elected by the Member States. The election occurred as Ministers and senior leaders from UN Member States and international organisations attended the fourth session of the UN-GGIM from 6-8 August 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Bureau members span the world of geographical thought, strategy and management. The Co-Chairs have been announced as: Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB from the United Kingdom, Dr Li Pengde from China, Dr Eduardo Sojo from Mexico. The Rapporteur was announced as Mr. Sultan Mohamed Alya from Ethiopia.
Upon re-election for a fourth year, Dr Vanessa Lawrence said “On behalf of the Co-Chairs, we accept our election as a great honour. We will do our best to fulfil our work efficiently and successfully to meet the objectives of UN-GGIM, on behalf of the Member States”.
At the forefront of their deliberations was an effort to set a clear path to enhance sustainable development across the world. One aspect of their work was the recognition of the growing requirement for more accurate measuring of the changing planet, down to millimetres. Such data will have enormous economic benefits since the data impacts on countries’ economies as well as their environments. At the same time, it was recognised that such improved data can only come through enhanced global co-operation.
Location-based services, based on for example the Global Positioning System (GPS), are becoming an expected fundamental requirement in many Member States, along with essentials like power and water. These all depend on a robust Global Geodetic Reference Frame (GGRF) being in place. During the meeting of UN-GGIM, a draft Resolution to support the long term sustainability of the GGRF was agreed, and will now pass to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. The intent is for ECOSOC to then refer the Resolution to the UN General Assembly later in the year.
Image: The UN-GGIM Bureau, from left to right:
Dr Li Pengde, Co-Chair from China
Dr Eduardo Sojo, Co-Chair from Mexico
Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Co-Chair from United Kingdom
Mr. Sultan Mohamed Alya, Rapporteur from Ethiopia