Monday, April 12, 2021

2nd Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names


Geographical Names Supporting Sustainable Development and Management of the Pandemic

The 2021/second session of the "new" United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) will be convened from 3 to 7 May 2021 on a virtual platform. There will be 10 informal meetings of the 2021 session and each virtual meeting will be of two hours: 9 -11 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. EDT/New York Time

The Session is being organized against the background of an ongoing serious and unprecedented health crisis which makes it necessary to react responsibly, putting the safety and health of delegates and the staff of the Secretariat and their families first. Considering the limitations, risks imposed by the pandemic and guidance received from the President of ECOSOC and UN Occupational Safety Health, the session will be convened in an informal virtual format with remote simultaneous interpretation.


UNGEGN sessions provide a forum where experts are able to learn and share best practices and norms, new developments in geographical names administration and standardization. The session also highlights the Group's role as an enabler in preserving cultural heritage and where appropriate support relevant aspects of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The second session will address the theme "Geographical Names Supporting Sustainable Development and Management of the Pandemic", which supports General Assembly resolution 70/1, which called for ECOSOC inter-governmental bodies and forums to reflect the integrated nature of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as well as the interlinkages between them.

Work Programme

The Group of Experts has had a robust work programme spanning over 50 years and many significant milestones. The following are some major topics to be addressed during the session: - the 2021 - 2029 Strategic Plan and Work Programme, place names supporting sustainable development, toponymic data files and gazetteers, romanization systems, and geographical names as cultural heritage.

Other Activities

A series of side events consisting of working groups and divisional meetings, special workshops and an orientation session for new attendees will be held in the weeks prior to the session. We are committed to keeping you, our national representatives, observers and special interest groups informed on the progress of session arrangements. Therefore, we encourage you to continue to monitor this website for updates sand announcements.

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