United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN)

In 1959, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) paved the way for a small group of experts to meet and provide technical recommendations on standardizing geographical names at the national and international levels. This meeting gave rise to the United Nations Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names (UNCSGN) and to the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN). The UNCSGN is held every five years, and UNGEGN meets between the Conferences to follow up the implementation of resolutions adopted by the Conferences and to ensure continuity of activities between Conferences. Today, UNGEGN is one of the seven standing expert bodies of ECOSOC, with over 400 members from over 100 countries.

Outside its meetings, UNGEGN functions through 24 geographical/linguistic divisions and through working groups, currently addressing issues of training courses, digital data files and gazetteers, romanization systems, country names, terminology, publicity and funding, and toponymic guidelines.

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Upcoming conferences and sessions


Recent conferences and sessions
Upcoming events
Joint ICA/IGU Working Group/Commission on Toponymy: 2015 International Symposium on Place Names “Place names, diversity and heritage”
17 – 18 September 2015, Clarens, Free State Province, South Africa
Contact: Chrismi Loth
International Workshop on Toponymy “Place names to the public” organized by National Geographic Information Institute
8–10 October, Jeju, Republic of Korea
Contact: Sungjae Choo
East Central and South-East Europe Division of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names
26 November 2015, Ljubljana, Slovenia