In 2011, following decision 2011/24, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, of which the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management is a subsidiary body, “encouraged Member States to hold regular high-level, multi-stakeholder discussions on global geospatial information, including through the convening of global forums, with a view to promoting a comprehensive dialogue with all relevant actors and bodies”. Thus, the aim of the United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) is to provide a convening, participatory and inclusive environment to enhance the communication, understanding, knowledge and application of geospatial information management.
The inaugural United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress was held in Deqing, Zhejiang Province from 19 to 21 November 2018. Convened by the United Nations, the Congress was hosted by the Government of China through its Ministry of Natural Resources and supported by the Zhejiang Province. UNWGIC in Deqing substantively improved and strengthened the role of geospatial information management, innovation and related technologies towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to keep the promise to leave no one behind. The theme, "The Geospatial Way to a Better World", resonated with over 2000 participants and exhibitors from all continents, who resolved to work together to build a human data and geography community for a shared and better future, and to keep the promise to leave no one behind by fostering effective cross-sector and interdisciplinary international, regional and local collaboration and partnerships, and to support national development priorities.
The Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress in Hyderabad, India will be hosted by the Government of the Republic of India through its Ministry of Science and Technology. The Committee of Experts is expected to convene the third edition of the United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress in 2026.