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In both communities, UNGEGN and UN-GGIM, geographic information, as an underpinning enabling infrastructure, is used in general or with a distinct relation to geographical names.

Even though the similar terms “geographical” and “geospatial” are found in the titles of the two organizations, the actual connection between UNGEGN and UN-GGIM thus far has been limited, and the potential for sharing work, avoiding overlap, and agreeing areas of common interest has not yet been realized.

It has been recognized by the UN Statistics Division that UNGEGN and UN-GGIM should continue to operate and function as distinct bodies on account of their unique and specific roles. Many of the objectives and activities of UNGEGN are not included in the broader substantive, high level and policy-related elements of the UN-GGIM agenda.

For these reasons, including the complementary nature of each community, a dedicated UNGEGN is indispensable alongside a well-functioning UN-GGIM; the effectiveness of the latter should not be impeded by the technical diversity (including occasional political sensitivities) of developments in the field of geographical names.

F4-Q1: How can we generally make better linkages between UNGEGN’s work and UN-GGIM’s activities?

F4-Q2: How can we better promote and make aware of non-technical issues like language, romanization, cultural heritage etc. to UN-GGIM’ activities?

The discussions will be monitored and streamlined by the moderator.

Moderation of Forum 4:

Ms. Catherine Cheetham (United Kingdom)
Email: ccheetham[at]

More information is available in the uploaded document " Relationship of UNGEGN with UN-GGIM – “Building bridges” " by UNGEGN Bureau and Convenors.

1. Principles

2. Cooperation on a global level

3. Cooperation on a regional level

4. Cooperation on a national level (Member State)

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  1. Catherine Cheetham and I have had a conversation about the relationship document on 28.05.2017 and the respective comments received by UNGEGN and UN-GGIM experts. Some of the UN-GGIM comments are quite substantial. We are currently in contact with the UNGEGN Bureau on how to do justice to the contributors but also we are hesitant about making significant changes to the document after it has been reviewed and agreed by so many already. The status quo is that it will be submitted as a background document to a full report to UN-GGIM-7 still to be prepared and submitted by the Secretariat. Anyway, on the specific content of the Relationship document itself, our basic view is, since in fact it will only be a supporting 'background' document to the report the Secretariat will prepare, that it might be quite acceptable to leave it largely unchanged at this point (incorporating certain suggestions to clarify the text and any editorial points), but otherwise not changing much, and to comment in the full report that the document reflects approved wording from UNGEGN as a whole and that it has been submitted to GGIM. Furthermore we are assuming that the summary and full report with the Relationship document as an annex to UN-GGIM-7 will be submitted to the 11th UNCSGN as well.

  2. In June 2017 Ferjan Ormeling gave a keynote at the 4th UN-GGIM: Europe Plenary Session about the role of UNGEGN:

    He highlighted the importance of the standardization of geographical names for the national and international geospatial information management.

  3. The official report submitted by UNGEGN to the 8th UN-GGIM Committee of Experts Meeting provides the current status of the relationship: