9th UNGIWG Plenary Meeting

4 - 7 November 2008

Vienna - Austria

A Personal Invitation to UNGIWG-9

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) cordially invite you to attend the 9th Plenary Meeting of the United Nations Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG) to be held in Vienna at the Vienna International Center, Austria, on 4-7 November 2008.

Formed in 2000, UNGIWG is a network of UN professionals working in the fields of cartography and geospatial information management science to address issues of common concern. Since its inception, UNGIWG has been laying the foundations for a United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure (UNSDI).
At its core, the UNSDI contributes substantively to the mission of the United Nations by engaging member states, regional organizations and partners in building consensus, policy and governance mechanisms to ensure that geospatial data and information sharing practices are used widely in advancing social, economic development, environmental and humanitarian agendas.

UNGIWG-9 deliberations will focus on the adoption of the UNSDI framework as well as other related documents which will inform UNSDI Phase I implementation in 2009-10. The participants will hear from the UNGIWG Secretariat and Task Group Managers who will report on past year’s activities and discuss Task Group priorities for 2009. Innovative and challenging projects related to Geospatial Information Management and SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) from around the world will be presented in a number of modalities including a poster session.

At UNGIWG-9 members will be called upon to elect new Co-chairs for 2009-10. It is expected that more then 30 UN agencies, departments, funds and local, national or regional partners are expected to attend UNGIWG-9. For further details, see the UNGIWG-9 Web site.

All UNGIWG members are encouraged to attend the full four days. UNGIWG Partners (i.e. non-UN) are encouraged to attend the full day plenary on Thursday the 6th, and the morning session of the following day. Note that in the morning on Tuesday, 4 Nov. there is a workshop on "SDI Best Practices" offered by Roger Longhorn, Co-Chair, GSDI Association, Legal & Socioeconomic Working Group.

Please confirm your participation by filling the registration form. If you would like to participate in the poster session or the Tuesday workshop, please indicate so by filling the appropriate sections in the registration form.

Accommodations in the vicinity of the Vienna International Centre with UN discounts and other relevant information on Vienna are provide via the links in related pages of the UNGIWG-9 site. Note that each participant is responsible for travel, accommodations, visa arrangements and all expenses.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the UNGIWG Secretariat at contact at ungiwgsec.org for further information.

Looking forward to a productive UNGIWG-9 in Vienna on 4-7 November 2008.

UNGIWG Co-Chairs

Ms. Alta Haggarty
Deputy Chief, Advocacy and Information Management Branch (AIMB)
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Mr. Karl Steinacker
Coordinator for the East
Goma (République Démocratique du Congo)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)