From Monday 1 to Friday 5 May, 450 representatives of the 98 member states, observers and private-sector partners of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) gathered in the Principality for the 3rd session of the IHO General Assembly.
After the opening ceremony and inauguration of an exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum on Tuesday 2 May, attended by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and H.E. Pierre Dartout, the Principality’s Minister of State, the member state representatives took part in a series of round tables and working groups. The primary purpose of these events was to discuss future issues relating to nautical charts and the transition to a digital data system; new developments in marine cartography, technology and international technical standards; and the empowerment of women in this professional field.
Highlights of the week included the recognition of the Southern Ocean; the new areas of cooperation between the IHO and OECD; and the signature of a memorandum of understanding with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has supported the IHO for 32 years by hosting the Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB), a freely accessible online database that brings together oceanic depth data from all over the world, helping to improve understanding of the oceans and facilitate informed decision-making at the international level.
Finally, on Thursday 4 May, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco paid a visit on board the US Navy’s USNS Bruce C. Heezen, together with H.E. Denise Campbell Bauer, the US Ambassador to France and Monaco. During the visit, the ship’s captain and crew presented the cutting-edge technology on board the vessel, which is used to help populate marine cartography databases.