News in 2017

5th UNGGIM High Level Forum incl. UNGGIM Subcommittee on Geodesy

26-30 November, Mexico City, Mexico

5th UNGGIM High Level Forum, 28-30 November  2017

United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management arranged in Mexico City, along with the host organizations in Mexico, the Fifth High-level Forum. The meeting was held 28-30 November 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify and reinforce the role of geospatial innovation and technology on national level and at the national implementation of the SDG, and to strengthen national capacities, particularly in developing countries, to implement the 2030 agenda. More than 70 countries participated and the number of participants was more than 300.

The High Level Forum is organized with about 18 months apart, and unlike the annual UNGGIM Committee of Experts meeting that takes place in New York in August of each year, these meetings are to have more focused discussions. The focus at this meeting was to discuss geospatial data, statistics and United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. The theme of the meeting was Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Geospatial Technology and Innovation. A total of five sessions were conducted. A session consisted of a keynote speaker who got about 20 hours to specialize in, as well as a panel of five speakers that had 5-10 minutes. The sessions ended with a question and answer session.

The title of the sessions were

  • Session 1: Implementing the SDGs: The relevance of geography and reliable, timely, accessible and disaggregated data
  • Session 2: Geospatial knowledge platforms: Empowering the SDGs through geographic tools and services
  • Session 3: Implementing the SDGs: The role of geospatial research and innovation
  • Session 4: Integrated information systems: A national priority for implementing the SDGs
  • Session 5: Public-private partnerships: Evolving integrated geospatial knowledge platforms

UNGGIM High Level Forum is one of the formal UNGGIM meetings, meaning that the UNGGIM secretariat documents as well as facilitating that a Mexico City Declaration is presented. All documents, including the declaration, are available on UN GGIMs website (

Group photo of the Sub-committee on Geodesy incl FIG Vice President Mikael Lilje

UNGGIM Subcommittee on Geodesy, 26-27 November 2017

The UNGGIM Committee of Experts endorsed in 2016 the global geodetic roadmap as a “principle-based briefing document for national Governments”. They then welcomed the development of an implementation plan to link the road map recommendations to national policy developments. To ensure a sustainability regarding the global geodetic reference frames, the same committee elevated the GGRF working group (WG) in 2017 to a Sub-Committee on Geodesy (SCoG) to strengthen the GGRF. At the same time, they requested the development of a position paper to define the appropriate governance arrangements for the GGRF and asked that this is to be presented in 2018. In Mexico City the Subcommittee had its inaugural meeting. FIG is an associate member to the subcommittee and Mikael Lilje is the contact person. Since FIG is considered to be good in capacity building, Mikael has also been asked to lead a focus group on Education, Training and Capacity Building. Currently there are five focus groups and they are; Governance, Education, Training and Capacity building, Outreach and Communication, Geodetic infrastructure and finally Policy, standards and conventions.

The Subcommittee is since the meeting co-chaired by Australian (2017/2018) and Russian Federation (2017/2019). The current focus within the subcommittee is to develop an appropriate governance and this will support the other focus areas.


Mikael Lilje, FIG Vice President
December 2017