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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