It's no easy task, to clarify for all of the countries of the World what geodesy is. After six years of dedicated work we now see that geodesy is understood in the UN, which is much better than any of the sceptics predicted. When countries want something in this system, it's actually possible to make a difference.
We have been on a long journey that started more than five years ago: through Doha, Cambridge, New York, Washington DC, Mexico and several other places. At first we thought it was a "mission impossible", but this trip has proven to be fully possible.
The fact that the UN General Assembly in 2015 put geodesy on the agenda by adopting the resolution "A global geodetic reference frame for sustainable development" was a major milestone and encouraged all countries to commit.
Norway takes this job seriously. When State Secretary to the Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Lars Jacob Hiim opened the Norwegian Mapping Authority's Geodetic Earth Observatory in Ny-Ålesund this summer, he said that the observatory is Norway's most important contribution to this resolution. He also said that time has come to contribute to stability and more binding cooperation on global geodetic infrastructure.
Today, this cooperation is a substantial best effort activity. Here in conference room 4, next to the General Assembly, each country can express its opinion and influence. No country is worth more than another. And no country can get results by doing the job alone. We are all responsible for making the world better. Ranging from small island states like Fiji, Tuvalu and Tonga to large countries like Russia, Argentina, France and Japan. It is incredibly motivating to see how the UN Member States actually want to make the world better by strengthening cooperation on geodesy.
On August 2nd, 2018 the expert committee discussed whether the new subcommittee on geodesy is going to proceed to the conclusion of a convention for geodesy. And hold on; we will! The subcommittee's presentation and recommendations received 33 interventions from countries and organizations wishing to make GGRF - the global geodetic reference frame - stronger. Yay!
Norway also received a lot of praise for the work we have performed for the UN-GGIM subcommittee on geodesy in recent years. Norway has chaired the subcommittee until last autumn when Russia took over. Once again there is full focus on geodesy on this journey towards commitment, which is now entering a new phase. There is momentum for geodesy in the UN. It must be cared for and built on.
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