Z. Altamimi | 2020-09-24

Toward the creation of a Global Geodetic Center of Excellence

A brief report on the UN-GGIM 10th session

The tenth session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) was held in a scaled down virtual format, consisting of three two-hour meetings, on 26-27 August and 4 September 2020. Full details regarding the agenda can be found here: https://ggim.un.org/meetings/GGIM-committee/10th-Session/documents/

Of interest to our association is the Agenda item #6, dealing with the Global Geodetic Reference Frame (GGRF). The Subcommittee on Geodesy (SCoG) has prepared a full report describing its activities during the intersessional period, including the responses of the IAG Services to the questionnaire on the geodetic infrastructure that was prepared by the lead of the corresponding Working Group (the author of this brief report). The SCoG has also prepared and submitted to the 10th session, for discussion, a Position Paper on Sustaining the Global Geodetic Reference Frame, as well as a Concept Paper on establishing a Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence (GGCE). The aim of the GGCE is to improve collaboration and coordination amongst Member States, in coordination with the IAG, in sustaining the global geodetic reference frame, and in particular its geodetic infrastructure. 

An offer to host the office of the GGCE for the UN-GGIM was submitted by the Federal Government of Germany (coordinated by the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy - BKG) which is intended to be located at the UN Campus in Bonn. The offer has received a number of supports from Member States, as well as from IAG (see the letter of support of IAG President here).

In its statement available here: https://ggim.un.org/meetings/GGIM-committee/10th-Session/documents/Proforma_Agenda-item-6-IAG-Statement.pdf, the IAG emphasized the need for detailed and clearly defined work program of the GGCE, in agreement with the recommendations of the GGRF roadmap, and in cooperation with the Committee of Experts, the Subcommittee on Geodesy and the relevant geodetic organizations, including our association. In its Decision 10/104, the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management recognized the essential role of the geodetic services provided by the International Association of Geodesy. 


Zuheir Altamimi,
IAG President

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