A United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) Briefing Session, jointly organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources of P.R. China, was held at the UN Headquarters on 1 August 2018, during the 8th Session of the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). The UNWGIC, organized by the UN and supported by the Government of China, is going to take place from 19-21 November 2018 in Deqing, Zhejiang Province, China.
The Briefing was chaired by Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division (UN-GGIM Secretariat). Speeches and introductions were made by Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Jack Dangermond, Chairman of the World Geospatial Industry Council and Co-founder & President of ESRI, Mr. Li Pengde, Deputy Director General of China Geological Survey of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Co-Chair of UN-GGIM, and Mr. John Kedar, Director International Engagement of UK Ordnance Survey and Co-Chair of International Advisory Committee for the UNWGIC. The Briefing was attended by more than 400 delegates from Member States and observers from UN system, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and private sector.
At the Briefing, USG Mr. Liu Zhenmin highlighted the importance of the Congress for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, enhancing dialogue and cooperation, and promoting transfer of the geospatial information technologies and capabilities. He said that the Congress in format seeks to provide an enabling environment to debate and discuss technology developments, test concepts and thinking, stimulate dialogue, exchange experience, practices and knowledge, and to guide a path to a better world.
Mr. Jack Dangermond, Co-founder and President of ESRI, noted in his speech that the Congress will provide a perfect opportunity for the geospatial information community to transform our understanding of the world, to advance the role of the geospatial field, to inspire how we carry out our responsibilities and create a geoscience-based foundation for our future.
Mr. John Kedar, Director International Engagement of UK Ordnance Survey and Co-Chair of International Advisory Committee for the Congress, introduced the substantive programme of the Congress, including the high-level opening and 5 plenary sessions, 35 parallel sessions under 7 major themes as well as 3 special sessions. He cordially expressed the invitation for representatives of all stakeholders to attend such an exciting Congress with one aim "The Geospatial Way to a Better World", 44 sessions, 200+ speakers, and 1000+ delegates.
Mr. Li Pengde, as Co-Chair of UN-GGIM and on behalf of the hosts, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Zhejiang Provincial Government of China, extended the warm welcome to the leaders and professionals in geospatial, statistics and other related fields from government, academia, industry, international organizations, and non-governmental professional organizations all over the world, to participate in the Congress. He said that a successful UNWGIC to be delivered with the concerted efforts of the global geospatial community will create a new and brilliant chapter for our future.
Detailed information about the UNWGIC is available at http://ggim.un.org/unwgic. Early registration and hotel booking for the Congress is encouraged at http://www.unwgic2018.org.