Working Group on Romanization Systems

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NB! Since May 2023 this web site is an archive of WGRS documents, reports, etc. which will remain accessible but will not be updated. For an up-to-date information please visit the UNGEGN WGRS web site.

Composition of the working group

Below you will find the list of members. Some of WG members have retired from active service but continue to be associated with the working group.

     Mr. Ass'ad S. Abdo (Saudi Arabia)
Mr. Richard J. Ascarate (United States)
Mr. Brahim Atoui (Algeria)
Mr. Hubert Bergmann (Austria)
Mr. Abolfazl Bolandian (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mrs. Caroline Burgess (United Kingdom)
Mme. Élisabeth Calvarin (France)
Mr. Jeffrey M. Carnes (United States)
Ms. Catherine Cheetham (convenor, United Kingdom)
Mr. Sungjae Choo (Republic of Korea)
Ms. Allison Dollimore (United Kingdom)
Mr. Randall E. Flynn (United States)
Mr. Benjamin D. Foster (United States)
Mr. David A. Gunn (United States)
Mr. Peter Jordan (Austria)
Mr. Gholamreza Karimzadeh (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mr. Christos Kastrisios (Greece)
Mr. Liu Lianan (China)
Ms. Becki Maddock (United Kingdom)
Mr. Mehran Maghsoudi (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mr. Peeter Päll (Estonia)
Mr. Trent C. Palmer (United States)
Mr. Walter Petrovitz (Holy See)
Mr. Gerhard Rampl (Austria)
Mr. Alexandros Stavropoulos (Greece)
Mr. Tjeerd Tichelaar (Netherlands)
Mr. Paul J. Woodman (United Kingdom)
Mr. Bogusław R. Zagórski (Poland)

The working group can be contacted at the address of the convenor:

     Catherine Cheetham
Head, Permanent Committee on Geographical Names
c/o Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR
United Kingdom
Email: ccheetham@pcgn.org.uk

Notes on errors and any information on new developments in various countries are welcome. Please note that the Working Group has no mandate to review any other systems except those being submitted by the relevant authorities and experts of the donor countries within the framework of the United Nations activities in the standardization of geographical names.

Some facts about the working group

The working group was established at the 2nd session of UNGEGN in 1970, originally it was called the Working Group on a Single Romanization System. The first members of the WG were Josef Breu (Austria), Pat Geelan (United Kingdom), Cuido Gómez de Silva (Mexico), Eyvind Halvorsen (Norway), A. M. Komkov (USSR), François Nédélec (France), Carl Page (United States) and D. N. Sharma Atri Harnal (India). At the 2nd UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in 1972 the WG was renamed the Working Group on a Single Romanization System for each Non-Roman Writing System. In 1989 at the 14th session of UNGEGN the WG title was first shortened again to the Working Group on a Single Romanization System, then changed to Working Group on Romanization Systems in the provisional agenda for the 15th session.

The first chairman of the working group in 1970 was Mr. Cuido Gómez de Silva (Mexico). At the 3rd session of UNGEGN in 1971 Mr. Josef Breu (Austria) was elected to be the new chairman. At the 7th session of UNGEGN in 1977 Mr. Ervin Földi (Hungary) was appointed to succeed Mr. Breu as convenor. At the 11th session of UNGEGN in 1984 in the absence of Mr. Földi Mr. Josef Breu acted as ad hoc convenor; in the absence of Mr. Breu at the 12th session of UNGEGN in 1986 Mr. Gerd Quinting (United States) acted as ad hoc convenor. In 1987, at the 13th session of UNGEGN both Mr. Breu and Mr. Quinting were appointed to be co-convenors of the working group. In 1989, at the 14th session of UNGEGN Mr. Gerd Quinting was the convenor of the working group. Mr. Breu was reported to have retired in 1992, at the 16th session of UNGEGN. Mr. Quinting was succeeded in 1998 at the 19th session of UNGEGN by Mr. Peeter Päll (Estonia) as the convenor. From August 2017 till May 2023 Ms. Catherine Cheetham (United Kingdom) and Mr. Peeter Päll were co-convenors. Since May 2023 Ms. Catherine Cheetham is the convenor of the working group.

Updated: 2023-12-21