The 3rd Divisional Meeting of UNGEGN ASE Division


13-14 May 2015, Melia Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Day 214 May 2015 - 3rd Divisional Meeting of UNGEGN ASE Division


Attending Member Countries

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam



Director General of Department of Survey and Mapping of Vietnam welcomed the delegates to Hanoi, Vietnam for the meeting.


Opening Remarks

Dr. Peter N. Tiangco, Chairman of UNGEGN ASE Division delivered the opening address.


Election of Executive Positions

Malaysia and Philippines nominated Singapore to take on both the positions of Secretary and Rapporteur for this meeting. The meeting agreed with the nominations.


Adoption of Agenda

The agenda was tabled by Chairman and adopted by the meeting.


Chairman's Report

The report was tabled and presented by the Chairman, covering matters arising from the 28th session UNGEGN in New York and the 2nd UNGEGN ASE Meeting in Bandung, Indonesia 2014.

Two resolutions passed at the 2nd Divisional Meeting: 1) Term of Chairman for Divisional Meeting will be for 4 years till April 2018; and 2) Indonesia will be taking over the management of regional map and gazetteer data as a result of the separation ASEPSW Division into ASE Division and PSW Division.

The 29th UNGEGN will be held in Bangkok, Thailand. Members are encouraged to attend.


Country Reports

The following members presented their country reports:


Malaysia reported that geographical naming is supported by the Malaysian National Committee on Geographic Names (MGCGN). The structure and the roles & responsibilities of the MGCGN were shared with the meeting.

Malaysia informed the meeting of its participation in geographical names meetings in Malaysia, its production of a web based geographical names database and gazetteer. The features of this web based database and gazetteer·were shared. Malaysia also reported its establishment of websites on geographical names activities of Malaysia and the development of geographical names database. Activities of the working groups on naming of islands and participation in workshop and briefings were also reported .


Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam reported its participation in geographical naming seminars and meetings by its geographical naming committee (JKNG). JKNG conducted site visits and had meetings with the villagers to enquire into the geographical features of the area as part of its naming efforts. Brunei also dealt with issues raised by the public and road names. JKNG was in the process of producing a newsletter to update the public of JKNG's activities and its efforts in geographical naming.

The achievements in road naming and geographical naming in Brunei were reported. Brunei also highlighted its challenges in training its committee members locally and creating public awareness on the standard geographical road names.



Indonesia reported the implementation of a toponym data acquisition system for public to contribute toponym data which will be validated. Various activities in standardisation of geographic names including verification and preparation for the National Gazetteer were reported. Indonesia also shared its participation in seminars, meetings and trainings, conducted courses on toponym, toponornv survey and publication of its activities.

Indonesia also shared the development of a prototype geoportal for members of UNGGIM AP to share geospatial information which was used to share result of the recent Nepal earthquake. Survey activities that contribute to the marine and fisheries managernent were also reported.

Indonesia proposed the conduct of regional training programmes on marine toponymy for the member countries of ASE Division.



Philippines reported its participation in UNGEGN meetings. Current activities involve the Philippines Standard Geographic Code (PSGC) to systematically code the geographic areas of the Philippines, and preparation of gazetteer. Philippines shared with the meeting of its future activities involving taking inventory of inland waters and updating of its island inventory.

In response to Indonesia's suggestion of engaging in marine toponymy activities, Philippines shared that it currently does not have much engagements in marine toponymy activities but welcomed the collaborations in training activities.



Vietnam reported on its standardisation of geographical names and the various standards adopted. Achievements from tile standardisation of geographical names were also shared. Vietnam also updated that it will be improving its regulation system on standardisation and using of toponymy going forward. In 2014, Vietnam started to establish the geographical name database based on the standardisation of 28 provinces, inclusive of 90.727 place names. Promulgation and distribution of gazetteers of 5 provinces which included 26.364 place names were also undertaken.



Singapore informed the meeting that Singapore did not submit country report as they do not have major naming activities during the period, mainly because all parts of the country have been mapped and place names have been allocated. Singapore also shared that the naming authority in Singapore is the Street and Building Names Board (SBNB} who provided guidelines and approves streets and building names. Naming of streets in Singapore has evolved from naming after pioneers in Singapore to thematic naming after the activities reflective of the area. Streets names in Singapore has incorporated the multicultural society of Singapore where street names have names reflecting the 4 different races in Singapore.

Other Matters

Formulation and Establishment of ASE Division Gazetteer and Newsletter

Chairman informed that ASE Division requested from PSW Division to turnover the Division's regional map and gazetteer. PSW Division was agreeable to providing the database but proposed that PSW be included in ASE's Gazetteer, and for ASE Division to maintain the database for both Divisions. Chairman proposed that ASE develops its own database as PSW already has its own database and it would be impractical to have PSW Division's information included in ASE Division's. Philipplnes supported Chairman's proposal and viewed that it would not be difficult to develop ASE's own database as templates are available. Brunei also viewed that ASE division should develop its own database and clarified if Indonesia would be maintaining the Gazetteer and Newsletter as agreed during the 2nd UNGEGN ASE Meeting. Chairman explained that the turnover of the database from PSW was pending the issue of setting up of the Division's own Gazetteer and Newsletter needs to be resolved.

In view hereof, the Phillpplnes highlighted the need to raise a resolution in the 29th UNGEGN meeting at Bangkok to address the need for ASE Division to have its own Gazettee and Newsletter.

Formulation and Development of Training Programmes

The setting up of training programmes for· toponvrnv for all member countries of the ASE Division was proposed. Brunei sought clarity on who should fund the training programrnes. Philippines shared that it would be possible to obtain some funding from UNGEGN and would share more details through a write up.

Proposed Resolutions

The following resolutions were proposed:
a) The ASE Division to develop and establish its own regional map and gazetteer.
b) The formulation and development of training programmes to be made available to all member countries under the ASE Division.


Date and Venue of Next Meeting

Laos was invited to host the next Divisional Meeting. Laos was amendable to the suggestion but would need to discuss the matter with higher authorities before confirming the hosting of the next meeting. Sri Lanka would be the alternative country to host the next Divisional Meeting as Sri Lanka would be amenable to host the 2016 divisional Meeting as shared at the last meeting. The meeting agreed for the next Divisional Meeting to be held in Laos being the first choice and Sri Lanka being the second choice to be held in end of May 2016.

Brunei proposed to host the 2017 ASE Divisional Meeting.




Ms. Stephanie Sng
Secretary and Rapporteur
14th May 2015