UNGEGN Divisions

The Group of Experts is composed of experts from various linguistic/geographical divisions that have been established by the UN Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Countries decide for themselves the division(s) to which they wish to belong; some belong to more than one division. A division chair is selected within a division and he/she is encouraged to stimulate activities in the standardization of geographical names within the division, through technical meetings, correspondence, etc.

Currently, there are 24 divisions that guide the work of UNGEGN during and between its sessions. Individuals interested in initiating activities are encouraged to consult the UNGEGN Secretariat to find points of contact within their divisions.

Linguistic/Geographical Divisions

The Group of Experts shall be composed of experts from linguistic/geographical divisions designated by Governments. The Group of Experts shall be supported in its activities by the following linguistic/geographical divisions:

Africa Central Division

Africa East Division

Africa South Division

  • Countries

    Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

  • Interim Chair

    Ms. Lucy Phalaagae, Botswana

Africa West Division

Arabic Division

Asia East Division (other than China)

  • Countries

    Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Republic of Korea

  • Chair

    Mr. Hiroshi Tanabe, Japan

Asia South-East Division

  • Countries

    Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam

  • Chair

    Mr. Mohamad Arief Syafii, Indonesia

Asia South-West Division (other than Arabic)

  • Countries

    Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan

  • Chair

    Dr. Masoud Shafiei, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Baltic Division

Celtic Division

  • Countries

    France, Ireland

China Division

Dutch- and German-speaking Division

East Central and South-East Europe Division

  • Countries

    Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine

  • Chair

    Ms. Darina Porubčanová, Slovakia

  • Website


Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Asia Division

  • Countries

    Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

  • Chair

    Mr. V. Boginskiy, Russian Federation

East Mediterranean Division (other than Arabic)

French-speaking Division

India Division

  • Countries

    Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan

Latin America Division

  • Countries

    Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

  • Chair

    Dr. Enrique Muñoz Goncen, Mexico

    email: enrique.munoz@inegi.org.mx


    email: mario.jahuey@inegi.org.mx

  • Website


Norden Division

Pacific South-West Division

  • Countries

    Australia, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Tonga and Vanuatu

  • Interim Co-Chairs

    Ms. Susan Birtles, Australia

    Ms. Wendy Shaw, New Zealand

Portuguese-speaking Division

Romano-Hellenic Division

United Kingdom Division

  • Countries

    Guyana, Jamaica, South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, New Zealand

  • Chair

    Ms. Catherine Cheetham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

USA/Canada Division


  • The number of linguistic/geographical divisions and their composition may be revised, if necessary.

  • A country shall decide for itself the division to which it wishes to belong. A country may be a member of another division provided the nature of its participation does not change the linguistic/geographical character of the division(s) concerned. An experts may be invited to attend meetings of other divisions in the capacity of observer or consultant.

  • Each division, if composed of more than one sovereign State, shall select, by methods of its own choosing, an experts to represent the division (Division Chairman) as a whole at the meetings of the Group of Experts.

  • In order to guarantee the continuity of work, each division having more than one sovereign State shall select an alternative representative; the divisional representative shall act in close contact with his alternate.

  • The divisional representative shall stimulate activities in the standardization of geographical names within his division by all appropriate means (correspondence with national bodies on the standardization of geographical names and national surveying and mapping agencies; organization of meetings of the divisional experts)

  • The divisional representative shall be responsible for ensuring that the work of the Group of Experts and its potential for technical assistance are brought to the attention of the individual countries in his division and for reporting to the United Nations any special problems in his division.

  • To discuss technical and procedural matters, a division may organize regional meetings during United Nations conferences on the standardization of geographical names and meetings of the Group of Experts, or at any other appropriate time.

1 Excerpt from the Statute and Rules of Procedure of the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names.

     Read More News