News in 2023

The United Nations Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence is opened!

29 March, 2023, Bonn, Germany

The official opening of the United Nations Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence (UN-GGCE) was held on the 29th of March 2023 at the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany.

The Secretariat of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), in collaboration with the Federal Government of Germany, through the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI) and the Federal Agency of Cartography and Geodesy (BKG), hosted the event. The event was well attended, and the official opening was made by Ms. Juliane Seifert (State Secretary Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community).  From FIG we can note the presence of Mikael Lilje, Vice President, and Dr. Ryan Keenan, chair of Commission 5.

The Centre's overarching goal is to assist Member States and geodetic organizations to coordinate and collaborate to sustain, enhance, access and utilise an accurate, accessible and sustainable Global Geodetic Reference Frame (GGRF) to support science, society and global development. The main objective of the GGCE is to support within available resources the implementation of the UN General Assembly resolution 69/266 (A Global Geodetic Reference Frame for Sustainable Development) through strengthening and advancing the following five themes:

  • global geodetic cooperation and coordination;
  • worldwide geodetic infrastructure;
  • standards and policies;
  • education, training and capacity development; and
  • communication and awareness,

whilst also coordinating measures and overseeing their implementation.

The UN-GGCE has a Steering Committee that will provide strategic advice on the annual plan of work and overall implementation of the agreed framework plan.  The UN-GGCE will also have an International Advisory Committee (IAC) comprising scientific and operational expertise that will provide the required guidance and advice on the development, implementation and review of the annual plan of work.  Dr. Ryan Keenan has been invited to become an inaugural member of IAC and FIG congratulated him for this prestigious recognition.

In conjunction with the GGCE’s opening ceremony, the IAC held its first meeting to note and adopt its terms of reference and working modalities.  Also, the Subcommittee on Geodesy held its Third Plenary meeting with the main outcome were the discussions on future needs to focus on and the decision on new working groups.  Notable here is that Dr. Dan Roman, former chair of Commission 5, continues the important work to lead a working group on Education, Training and Capacity Development.

FIG appreciates the considerable efforts of the UN-GGIM's Sub Committee on Geodesy, its Steering Committee and Working Groups over the last years in taking the GGCE Concept Paper, and realising it in the new centre in Bonn.  In particular, Commission 5 looks forward to continued cooperation with the UN-SCoG and is very excited about the new opportunities for collaboration with the GGCE as well as new members of the Steering and International Advisory committees.  'During the events in Bonn, a number of regional initiatives involving FIG and its partners have already been tabled, and we look forward to sharing more information about these in the coming months.' says Dr. Keenan. 

For more information, please contact Mikael Lilje or Ryan Keenan.

Reference Materials






Mikael Lilje and Ryan Keenen
14 April 2023