The Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) - a subsidiary body of United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is mandated to convene global forums to promote comprehensive dialogue on global geospatial information management with all governments, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions, and the private sector. The inaugural United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress will be hosted by the Government of China through the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China (NASG) in collaboration with the Government of Zhejiang Province in Deqing, China from 19 - 21 November 2018. While the actual Congress program covers three days, but the overall event is expected to be a week long, and will include global and regional meetings, workshops and learning events, side events and meetings, including the annual (2018) plenary meeting of National Representatives from Member States to the Regional Committee of United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management for Asia and the Pacific (UN-GGIM-AP), as well as the annual UN-GGIM Expanded Bureau meeting.
The first United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress will be comprehensive, comprising a series of thematic streams that stem from the overall theme of the Congress, principally focusing on strengthening national geospatial information management and systems, and national implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In September 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 70/1, "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The 2030 Agenda specifically recognizes the need "to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including earth observations and geospatial information, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking progress". The follow-up and review processes at all levels will be guided by a series of principles, one of which is to "be rigorous and based on evidence, informed by country-led evaluations and data which is high-quality, accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated, including by geographic locations, relevant in national contexts".
ECOSOC, when adopting Resolution 2016/27 entitled "Strengthening institutional arrangements on geospatial information management" in July 2016, recognized that UN-GGIM is well placed to continue to contribute to the work of the United Nations, especially to assist Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, and the New Urban Agenda.
The aim of the Congress is to provide a convening, participatory and inclusive environment to enhance the communication, understanding, knowledge and application of geospatial information management to address local, regional and global challenges, and to enable the UN-GGIM to:
- better understand and address the development of geospatial information management of Member States,
- mobilize willingness and resources to improve geospatially enabled governance of Member States,
- enhance the best and highest application of geospatial information for evidenced based policy making and citizen-centric services in Member States,
- enhance the regional and global geospatial information sharing systems, and crucially,
- support geospatially enabled sustainable development that leaves no one behind.