figlogo.gif (1705 bytes)   FIG 22nd General Assembly
  31 May and 4 June 1999
  Sun City, South Africa

Appendix to item 11: Report of the Director, FIG/UN Liaison



1.1 At the request of the Bureau I prepared a work plan and timetable for its meeting in Copenhagen earlier this year. That document, up-dated as appropriate, is reproduced below for the information of the General Assembly.

1.2 By the time the General Assembly meets, FIG Vice President Robert Foster, the Director of the FIG Office, Markku Villikka, and I will have visited UN headquarters in Nairobi and Markku Villikka will have participated in the 1999 UN Session on Human Settlements. I will report orally on these two events and on any other FIG/UN developments that may occur between now and the end of May.


1. Finalise the terms of reference for the Director, FIG/UN liaison and establish the post. Done.
2. Compile a list of UN organisations and contacts relevant to FIG. In hand and on-going.
3. Undertake extensive discussions on FIG/UN liaison possibilities, funding options and the possibility of a FIG/UN(FAO) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dr Jim Riddell (FAO) who will be visiting the University of Melbourne for the month of October 1998 (funded by the University). Done and MoU drafted; see also the FIG President’s accompanying report.
4. Continue liaison with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Statistics Division (Hermann Habermann) in New York regarding the planning for the joint FIG/UN workshop and conference on land tenure and cadastral infrastructure to support sustainable development and the FIG/UN round table on sustainable development to be held in Bathurst and Melbourne, October 1999. Done.
5. After further UN discussions, develop a funding model for joint FIG/UN initiatives. This strategy will be based on seeking UN seed funding and for FIG to leverage off this funding to secure the support of member associations or their countries, as well as industry sponsorship, to organise and run successful joint initiatives that meet the objectives of both parties. In simple terms, a normal UN meeting of about one week costs a UN agency about US$150,000. However, if the UN can provide about US$50,000 to FIG, that should be sufficient for FIG to organise a joint event which will meet the requirements of both parties. This approach is certainly of interest to the UN. To be developed and hopefully finalised during the October 1999 meetings.


1. Attend the bi-annual planning forum between UNCHS, donor nations and collaborating NGOs at the UNCHS offices in Nairobi, Kenya in May 1999 (continue liaison with Sylvie Lacroux and Mark Hilderbrand); establish links with UNEP. Markku Villikka to represent FIG at the forum. Links with UNEP to be established during the FIG visit to Nairobi.
2. Organise and participate in the FIG/UN workshop, conference and round table in Australia in October 1999 involving representatives of Commissions 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 as well as the chair of the FIG task force on sustainable development. Invitations to round table issued; further planning for all events to be undertaken during the 1999 working week.
3. Possibly attend and represent FIG at the UN cartographic conference in 1999 in New York. If such a conference is not organised, try to arrange a separate visit to UN DESA (New York). No news yet re conference. DESA visit could be combined with the Director’s visit to the World Bank (scheduled for the latter half of 2000).
4. Possibly participate in the Committee on Development Information, Addis Ababa, 28 June - 2 July 1999 (the successor to UN regional cartographic conferences for Africa). Further developments to be reported orally to the General Assembly.
5. By the end of 1999, and possibly before, propose to the Bureau a range of FIG/UN activities for a further four years (2000-2003). This may include proposals or suggestions for future FIG/UN initiatives such as joint conferences, workshops and round tables. This time scale is considered essential since many UN initiatives require a two- year lead time. Programme should be the outcome of the Melbourne round table.
6. Progress the development of FIG/UN MoUs with FAO and DESA as a priority. FAO: see above. DESA: discuss at the October 1999 FIG/UN events.

Ian Williamson
Director, FIG/UN Liaison

23 March 1999

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