Successful consultation

Member States and geodetic stakeholders have been broadly engaged in the consultation of the UN-GGIM Subcommittee on Geodesy’s long-term strategy and action plan on global geodesy.

This is the conclusion after the consultation of the draft Position Paper on Sustaining the Global Geodetic Reference Frame and the draft Concept Paper on the Establishment of the Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence.

“I am very pleased that the Member States and the UN-GGIM regions engaged deeply in this consultation process. This feedback is very important for the way forward for global geodesy as no country or region can sustain the GGRF alone“, says Nicholas Brown, co-chair of the UN-GGIM Subcommittee on Geodesy.

Both papers were provided to the Committee of Experts at its tenth session for broader consultation. In October 2020, the UN-GGIM Secretariat on behalf of the Subcommittee on Geodesy sent out an invitation to all UN-GGIM Member States to participate and contribute in this ongoing consultation.

Global and regional geodesy forums

To help Member States and relevant geodetic stakeholders understand the complex issues facing the global geodetic community, and to ensure alignment with the practical and operational requirements, the Subcommittee on Geodesy in April, hosted a Global Geodesy Forum with more than 450 participants. His Excellency Ambassador Peter Thomson, provided a stimulating opening address for the Forum as the Subcommittee’s Global Geodesy Ambassador:

“I commend the UN-GGIM Subcommittee on Geodesy for the two years of hard work that resulted in the Position Paper on Sustaining the Global Geodetic Reference Frame, and the Concept Paper on Establishing a Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence. Taken together, these represent a long-term strategy and action plan to realise the call by the UN General Assembly in its resolution of 2015 to develop a common global geodetic reference frame”, Ambassador Thomson said.

The consultation was concluded by the arrangement of regional consultation forums hosted by the UN-GGIM regions and the Subcommittee on Geodesy in collaboration.

Broad feedback

Through this consultation process, which ended 24 June, the Subcommittee on Geodesy has received broad feedback from Member States and organisations, including UN-GGIM regions in Americas, Asia Pacific, the Arab States and Europe.

The two papers will be put forward to the Committee of Experts for endorsement at UN-GGIM 11th session in August.

Position Paper on Sustaining the Global Geodetic Reference Frame

Concept Paper on Establishing a Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence

Below are brief summaries of the regional consultation forums with links to presentations and available recordings. A summary of the Global Geodesy Forum with presentations and recording is available at UN-GGIM website: UNSD — UN-GGIM

UN-GGIM: Americas

The UN-GGIM: Americas event was convened on May 14, 2021 with more than 120 participants. The event was entitled “Geodesy Forum for UN-GGIM: Americas – Geodesy for Sustainable Americas”. Five country cases (Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panamá and United States of America) were presented by their respective representatives and illustrated the support to the documents in consultation and the expectations about the Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence.

The event was organized by the executive secretary of the UN-GGIM Americas.

Event information is on the UN-GGIM Americas website, including all written materials and the video of the presentations.

UN-GGIM Asia-Pacific

The UN-GGIM Subcommittee on Geodesy and UN-GGIM-AP hosted the Asia-Pacific Regional Geodesy Forum on World Ocean Day, 8 June 2021. The Forum attracted over 80 participants from member states, the private sector, and geodetic experts groups such as IAG/GGOS. The participants were invited to give feedback on the two papers and discuss their needs, priorities, issues and challenges to access and sustain the GGRF. The challenges stated by participants from many countries included: development of geodetic infrastructure, such as GNSS CORS; as well as geodetic capacity development for highly precise geoid modelling and national geodetic reference frames. Forum participants expressed their appreciation to the Subcommittee on Geodesy and in particular Germany for the extensive efforts to establish the GGCE this past year, and expressed optimism and support for future development of geodetic infrastructure and capacity.

Event information and documents: WG1 Asia-Pacific Regional Geodesy Forum: The Power of Where - The Value of Geodesy to Society | UN-GGIM-AP

UN-GGIM: Europe

The UN-GGIM:Europe consultation forum was convened 23 June, 2021. The forum was titled "Towards a Sustainable Global Geodetic Reference Frame: European Contribution", and attracted more than 50 participants. The main focus of the European forum was to seek feedback from European Member States on the two papers. During the event a Slido poll revealed that the forum participants consider international commitment regarding funding and increased national resources to international geodetic work to be the most important priorities for Europe to secure development and long-term sustainability of the GGRF. All of the participants indicated their support to the two papers, with no substantial suggestions for changes in the two papers. 

Event material; recordings, presentations:

European Geodesy Forum - Towards a sustainable Global Geodetic Reference Frame: European Contribution | UN-GGIM Europe (

UN-GGIM: Arab States

The UN-GGIM:Arab States consultation forum was convened 16 June, 2021. The two papers and the regions geodetic issues were discussed. There was also a lot of discussion and useful ideas on how the GGCE could support the Arab States. The main points of interest was modernisation of reference frames, and education, training and capacity building. The Arab States support the two papers and gave a very well prepared and consolidated regional feedback to the Subcommittee.

Link to pdf/ presentation from Arab states meeting

UN-GGIM Subcommittee on GeodesyGlobal geodesyPosition PaperSustaining the Global Geodetic Reference FrameGlobal Geodesy Forum
Anne Jorgensen

Geodesy at the top of the world


UN-GGIM Global Geodesy Forum on Earth Day