ECOSOC Establishes Committee on Global Geospatial Information Management

27 July 2011: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has agreed to establish a committee of experts on global geospatial information management to coordinate international dialogue on spatial data infrastructures and enhance cooperation in that field.

The latest report of the UN Secretary-General on global geospatial information management highlights the applications of geospatial information in addressing the challenges of climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, famines, population displacement, and food and economic crises. The report notes the lack of a global multilateral or intergovernmental mechanism for setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and promote its use to address key global challenges. The report proposes that the UN take the lead role and serve as the coordinating entity of the global geospatial information community and create the committee.

The committee will comprise experts from all member States, with representatives from international organizations as observers. It is mandated, inter alia, to provide a platform for the development of effective strategies on how to build and strengthen national capacity on geospatial information, especially in developing countries, and contribute to the establishment of spatial data infrastructures. [UN Press Release]