Improving policies with better geospatial information

UN Photo

DESA’s Statistics Division (UNSD) and the UN Cartographic Section/Department of Field Support organized the “Third Preparatory Meeting on the Proposed UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM)” from 4-6 April in New York. 60 leading experts from 20 Member States, six UN entities and 11 regional and international organizations participated actively in the meeting.

In his opening statement, Paul Cheung, Director of UNSD stressed: ”There are real and critical development issues on the table, where this Committee, representing the international geospatial community, can make important contributions”.

The main development and humanitarian problems, which the world is facing today are all cross-border challenges requiring global, regional and national policy responses. Recent technology advancements have seen the emergence of location-based information (geospatial information) as a major contributor to better policy formulation: Maps can integrate information across various sectors and present this information to decision makers in innovative formats.

Hiroshi Murakami, of the Planning Department at the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, and the co-chair of the meeting, referred to the recent devastating disaster that struck his home country Japan: “This experience has deepened my belief in GGIM”.

The main conclusions and recommendations of the experts will be reflected in a report on GGIM to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 2011. The discussion among experts and national policy makers will also continue during the First Forum on GGIM to be held on 24-27 October 2011 in Seoul, which the United Nations is organizing together with the Government of the Republic of Korea.

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