ASEAN Member States Representatives Visit UNOSAT Office

20 May 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – On Friday 13 May we had the pleasure to welcome 12 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member state Ambassadors and Representatives for an information session on how Governments can benefit from UNOSAT’s support. Einar Bjorgo – UNOSAT Manager – presented our different areas of work:

  1. Satellite Imagery Analysis
  2. Training and Capacity Development
  3. Research and Innovation

For each of the topics above, Mr. Bjorgo shared different examples from our work in Southeast Asia. The Asia Pacific region accounts for the majority of natural disasters occurring in the world and is home to the vast majority of people affected by such disasters. Hence it is not a surprise that with 432 maps since 2003, Asia is the continent we map the most. In recent years we have also trained 180 disaster management professionals from the region. UNOSAT’s unique capacity to transfer in-house knowledge through practical training programmes was highlighted.

Ambassadors and member state representatives present showed their interest by asking excellent questions about our work and satellite technology. The conversation initially focused on the benefits and limitations of the technology before shifting to our training methodology and their countries’ specific needs.

"For us, capacity development means long-term engeagement" said Bjorgo. "There is a lot for us to gain from these technologies by acting together", concluded the Indonesian representative.

The session ended with an exchange on the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and how UNOSAT can help tackle the global challenges and “leave no one behind”. His Excellency Thongphane Savanphet, Permanent Representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the United Nations and other International Organisations  concluded the exchange by thanking UNITAR-UNOSAT for the work done and the invitation to this information session.  

With an office in Bangkok hosted by UN ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), UNOSAT’s presence is well established in Southeast Asia and we believe this recent information session will further reinforce our long-standing collaboration with local governments and organizations in the region such as ADPC (Asian Disaster Preparedness Center) and UN ESCAP. 

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Photos: ASEAN member states representatives in UNOSAT offices