The First Meeting of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) for the United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) was held in Deqing, Zhejiang Province, China on 11-12 April 2018. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, joined the meeting and made a speech as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the UNWGIC.
Tasked with guiding and advising on the development and implementation of the substantive programme, structure and content of the UNWGIC, the IAC for the UNWGIC was officially established at the meeting. The IAC comprises of the UN-GGIM Expanded Bureau, as well as senior representatives of related agencies and regional commissions of the UN system, major governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Mr. Sultan Mohammed, Director General, Ethiopian Geospatial Information Agency, Chair of UN-GGIM: Africa, and Mr. John Kedar, Director, International Engagement, Ordnance Survey, United Kingdom were elected Co-Chairs of the IAC.
The IAC made detailed discussions on the overall programme and structure, plenary sessions, and themes and topics of parallel sessions for the Congress. With the determined overarching theme “The Geospatial Way to a Better World”, the official program of the congress will cover three days (19-21 November), while the event will be a week long (19-23 November) with exhibitions, side events, and global and regional meetings, including the 8th Plenary Meeting of UN-GGIM-AP, and the annual UN-GGIM Expanded Bureau meeting.
The IAC agreed on four plenary sessions as Attaining Sustainable Development, Sharing the Digital Economy, Building Smart Societies, and Growing International Cooperation, as well as six themes for parallel sessions as 1) Measuring and Monitoring the SDGs, 2) Digital Economy, Location Analytics and Big Data, 3) Smart, Resilient and Sustainable Societies, 4) Growing Global Geospatial Capability and Capacity, 5) Geospatial Innovation, Science and Technology, and 6) Digital Silk Road and International Partnerships. Thirty-six topics were developed under these six themes.
The IAC also agreed to initiate a Call for Parallel Session Proposals. The relevant documents for the Call for Parallel Session Proposals were confirmed at the meeting, and are available at the Congress website: http://ggim.un.org/meetings/2018-1st_Congress_Deqing/. The Parallel Session Proposal submissions will close by 1 June 2018.
The IAC Secretariat presented the outcomes of the IAC meeting to the UNWGIC Steering Committee at its second meeting convened in Hangzhou, China on 13 April 2018. The IAC will hold its second meeting during the Eighth Session of UN-GGIM to be held in New York from 30 July to 3 August 2018.