The 7th Divisional Meeting of UNGEGN ASE Division
1 May 2019, UN Headquarters, New York - USA


7th Divisional Meeting

United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN)

Asia South-East Division (ASE Division)

UN Headquarters - New York, 1st May 2019


 

Attending Member Countries

 

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Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia

Mohamad Arief Syafi’i, Chairman, UNGEGN ASE Division delivered the opening address.

Election of Executive Positions

 

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Brunei Darussalam nominated Indonesia to take an positions of secretary and rapporteur for this meeting. The meeting agreed with the nominations.

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

 

I. Opening Address

The Chair opened the meeting and thanked representatives from the 7th ASE Division member countries attending the meeting. Each member introduced themselves and the Chair explained the agenda of the meeting. The members agreed to adopt the meeting agenda.

II. Country Reports

Singapore

Singapore reported that they are updating the national mapping of Singapore using the aerial photo and lidar for the second time after 2014. This data will then be used to update the local map, include geographical names.

Thailand

Thailand reported that they has set  the Working Group for the National Standard of  Geographical Names. This Working Group is now ongoing. Thailand will follow and  apply strictly to all relevant resolutions and standard of data  reached  during  UNGEGN  and ASE Division meeting. Regarding the activities of ASE Division, Thailand will closely work and share experiences with ASE Division members through proper  communication channels (email, website) for further actions and cooperation.

Lao PDR

Lao PDR reported that their Ministry of Home Affairs are focusing on their responsibility to promote the use of technology and has developed over 50 working groups including groups on geographical names. Lao PDR also remarked that for their base map they still use the 50,000 maps created by the United States.

Indonesia

Indonesia reported that in 2018, the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) started their role as the national naming authority, working with various other ministries and researchers from Gadjah Mada University prepared drafting the government regulating drafting on guidelines for assigning and changing geographical names. To this date, 16,671 islands with names and coordinates have been recorded and verified, and still, continue in 2019.

Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam congratulated Indonesia for being the Chair. Brunei Darussalam reported that during the past year they have conducted site visits to villages and that currently there are still 22 proposed geographical names waiting for approval. Brunei Darussalam also explained that they are facing a challenging situation in Brunei Darussalam since there are no locally available courses on toponymy and this leads to difficulties in data collection. In addition, people who worked on toponymy have retired from the workforce recently. Brunei Darussalam look forward for further collaboration and cooperation among members country.

Cambodia

Cambodia informed that the latest version of the Gazetteer of Cambodia was published in February 2019, in which it was included geographic locations with name in Khmer and Romanised of all administrative entities and villages. The structure of the National Commission on Geographical Names is being reviewed in order to strengthen its duties and responsibilities.

III. Work Plan

The Chair explained the proposed UNGEGN ASE Division work plan for 2019 – 2022. Regarding the regional database and gazetteer standards, the Chair remarked that it is necessary to make a common standard before we can populate the regional database and gazetteer as this will enable easier information exchange between countries.

The Chair explained that the work plan is divided into 4 years (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022), starting with the identification of the type of database and gazetteer standards used by each member country in 2019. The Chair then explained that the methods, listed in this presentation, that will be used to execute this work plan can be openly discussed by all members later in this meeting or via email afterwards.

Regarding the upcoming UNGEGN ASE Division Annual Meeting in 2020, the Chair explained that it will be discussed further on in this meeting but suggested that the theme for the upcoming meeting should be on Cultural Heritage. To prepare for this, the Chair explained that Indonesia will join several working groups during this UNGEGN session, including the ones on cultural heritage as it is related to the upcoming ASE Division annual meeting proposed theme. The Chair also said that Indonesia will establish an ASE Division secretariat for the period of Indonesia’s chairmanship, after which the secretariat can be taken over by the next chairing state.

Regarding the regional map of ASE Division Members, the Chair explained that although it has been a few years since the ASEPSW (Asia South East and Pacific South West) Division was split into two divisions – the ASE and the PSW divisions – in 2013, the regional map still has not reflected this change. The Chair proposed to change the regional map to reflect the current scope of the division. The members agreed to change the regional map.

The Chair opened the floor to questions or comments. Singapore remarked that the regional map on the UNGEGN website still include PSW countries and need to be updated. The Chair thanked the member for the reminder and replied that the regional map on the website will be updated.

Regarding the Generic Terms, the Chair reminded the members that there are still missing generic terms that need to be completed by ASE Division member countries.

IV. Other Matters

The Chair invited members of the meeting to raise any other matters to the floor.

Representative of the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs of Indonesia expressed the Coordinating Ministry’s plan to conduct a 2nd workshop or training of trainers on toponymy in Indonesia, tentatively in Bali, this year on either September or October 2019. Previously, the 1st training workshop for provincial and municipal trainers was successfully conducted in 2018 in Jakarta. The Coordinating Ministry have discussed their plan to conduct this workshop with UNGEGN and have decided that they will invite ASE Division members to the training and that the training will be open to participants from all ASE Division member countries. Further details on this event will be disseminated to ASE Division members.

The Chair noted the plan to conduct this workshop and included the event in the ASE Division work plan.

Thailand asked where they can access the Work Plan and the Chair explained that all documents related to this meeting will be distributed to the members and made available on the website http://asedivision-ungegn.org.

Brunei Darussalam suggested that the Secretariat should inform the absent members as soon as possible so they can mark the event on their calendar. The Chair answered that the absent members will be informed and recalled that there are 6 out of 12 member countries in attendance today.

V. Summary of Discussion

  1. Indonesia will establish an ASE Division secretariat for the period of Indonesia’s chairmanship, after which the secretariat can be taken over by the next chairing state.
  2. The regional map will be change to reflect the current scope of the division. Singapore remarked that the regional map on the ASE Division website still includes PSW countries and need to be updated. Indonesia will be updated on the regional map on the website.
  3. ASE Division member countries must be completed the generic terms.
  4. Indonesia, represented by Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs of Indonesia expressed the Coordinating Ministry’s plan to conduct workshop or training of trainers on toponymy in Indonesia, this year on either September or October 2019 and that the training will be open to participants from all ASE Division member countries.
  5. Brunei Darussalam suggested that the Secretariat should inform the absent members as soon as possible so they can mark the event on their calendar.
  6. Documents related to this meeting will be distributed to the members and made available on the website http://asedivision-ungegn.org.

VI. Resolution

The members agreed to adopt the proposed ASE Division Work Plan as attached.

VII. Date and Venue of Next Meeting

The Chair proposed three options for the meeting venue: Bali, Lombok, and Yogyakarta. In the previous divisional meeting, it was agreed that Lombok would be the venue for the 8th meeting, but after last year’s earthquake in Lombok, other alternatives should be considered. Access-wise, Bali would be ideal since it has an international airport with direct routes to and from ASE Division member countries, but recently Yogyakarta has also opened a new international airport and by next year direct routes should be available to and from ASE Division member countries. Currently, Yogyakarta is also designated as the Asian City of Culture from 2019 – 2021. There are also direct flights between Bali and Yogyakarta if participants would like to extend their stay. Both Bali and Yogyakarta have a rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage that would suit the theme of the meeting: How to Survey Toponyms for Intangible Cultural Heritage. The members agreed to select Yogyakarta as the venue of the next meeting.

The Chair initially proposed that the meeting should be held on 13 – 16 April 2020. Cambodia commented that the date might be problematic as it coincides with New Year celebrations in Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar. The Chair replied that the date can be shifted to the previous week, not the following week as it would coincide with the start of the fasting month or Ramadan in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and other member countries. The members agreed to shift the date to 6 – 9 April 2020.

The upcoming meeting will be in conjunction with an international training and seminar on toponyms which would be conducted over the course of two days, and on the third day a seminar will be held where members from ASE Division and other countries will be invited.

The 8th ASE Division meeting will be in conjunction with international training and seminar on toponyms that will be held on 6 – 9 April 2020 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

 

Prepared by,
 
 
 
Dini Nuraeni
Secretary, 1 May 2019
 
 
 
 
 
Astari Damia Ghasani
Rapporteur, 1 May 2019
 

 

The file of Minutes Meeting of 7th ASE Divisional Meeting available to download here.

The file of ASE Divisional Work Plan 2019-2022 available to download here.