Mr. Guterres (left) and Carlos Lopes look at a UNOSAT map of the ongoing floods in PakistanThe Executive Director of UNITAR and the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) accompanied by senior staff from both offices have met in August to discuss a set of requirements by the Office of the High Commissioner in the area of satellite derived mapping and geospatial analysis. UNHCR has used UNOSAT technical support and mapping for nearly ten years. The meeting was held at senior level to complete a process of estimation of the needs of UNHCR and the potential of UNOSAT as a permanent partner in this specific area.

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres was accompanied by his Chef de Cabinet, the Director of Programme Support and a technical expert from Mapping Unit. UNITAR Executive Director Carlos Lopes was accompanied by the UNOSAT Manager and a Senior Specialist at UNOSAT.

During the meeting, held at UNITAR premises in Geneva, the two organisations agreed on a set of services that will be required from UNOSAT, including the generation of data and layers ready to be ingested by UNHCR GIS experts at headquarters and in the field.

The ample range of activities of the Refugee Agency and the ever increasing possibilities offered by satellite technologies are the factors motivating the augmented cooperation between UNHCR and UNOSAT, which has been working at developing and applying excellence in satellite applications and analysis since its inception in 2000.