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Meeting of the Arab Committee of UN Experts discusses state-of-the-art technology in the field of geographic information management
21 August 2018
H.E Dr. Abdulaziz Ibn Ibrahim Al-Saab, President of the General Commission for Survey (GCS), Chairman of the Arab Committee of the United Nations Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), chaired the fifth meeting of the Arab Committee hosted by the Sultanate of Oman’s National Survey Authority, from 19 to 21 February,2018G, in the presence of HE Dr. Khalifa Ibn Abdullah Al Barwani, CEO of the National Center for Statistics and Information in the Sultanate of Oman and Staff Air Commodore Ahmed Ibn Saif Al Badi, President of the National Survey Authority in the Sultanate of Oman and members of the Committee. ​
H.E The Chairman of the Arab Committee of the (UN-GGIM AS) stressed, in an opening speech, that the Arab Committee is seeking to integrate the development of Geospatial information management of Member States on the national and regional levels as part of the global effort adopted by the (UN) Committee of Experts on the management of Global Geospatial information. His Excellency referred to the role of the Committee and the efforts it is leading to develop effective strategies for building and strengthening national Geospatial information capabilities and to benefit from the best practices and practical experiences of national, regional and international bodies concerned with geospatial information.
H.E the chairman reviewed the most important work activities discussed or adopted during the past four meetings and the most important business items listed for discussion in this meeting, including a follow up of the progress made in carrying out the committee's plan and the work of the technical teams expressing hope for having a productive meeting that will come up to  the best expectations. The meeting agenda also included discussing the Committee’s plan for establishing a pan Arab geodetic reference framework and the plans for establishing the geospatial infrastructure and the creation of a joint geoportal for the Arab States. 
The agenda of the fifth meeting included several other items relevant to geospatial information, including the annual report submitted by UN-GGIM Arab States Committee, contributions of the United Nations and international organizations to spatial geospatial information, the Arab experience in the use and development of geospatial functions, institutional frameworks and legal regulations, policies, raising awareness and capacity building, basic geospatial data and standards, the geodetic reference frame, the integration of geospatial and statistical information, and finally the recommendations and decisions that the meeting will come up with. 

The fifth meeting of the UN-GGIM-Arab Sates committee aims at bringing about effective cooperation and coordination for the application of shared elements of geospatial information systems based on geographical proximity, the creation of uniform standards for geospatial data and a standardization of the components of the geospatial data infrastructure. The Arab Committee is also seeking to coordinate regional efforts among the Arab countries and on to the international level along with an exchange of expertise and information on the latest advancements made in the field of geographic information systems.

The meeting also hopes to serve as a technical forum attracting representatives from all institutions concerned with spatial geography in the Arab countries for an exchange of views and a discussion  of all sorts of issues that would help with spreading these technologies for the best interest of the region at large.

The meeting adjourned in the morning session on Wednesday, 21 February, 2018G. The proceedings of the closing session began with a review of the Arab experiences in the use and development of geospatial activities, institutional frameworks, legal and policy organizations, raising awareness and capacity building and the basic geospatial data and standards. This was followed by a discussion of the reference geodetic frame, the integration of geospatial and statistical information and the session was finally concluded with a number of recommendations, actions and the outcome of the fifth meeting.

HE Mohammad Ibn Nasser Al-Rasabi, Secretary-General of the Omani Ministry of Defense met, on the sidelines of the meeting, with His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Ibn Ibrahim Al-Saab in his office at Al-Murtafi'a Camp.

H.E the Secretary General of the Omani Ministry of Defense welcomed H.E the guest and the two exchanged views on matters of mutual interest during the meeting. The meeting was attended by Staff Air Commodore Ahmed Ibn Saif Al Badi, president  of the National Survey Authority in the Sultanate of Oman.

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