International Hydrographic Organization
Main regulations of the IHO are the IHO Convention and Technical Resolution. The IHO Convention describes General Regulation, Financial Regulation, Rules of Procedure of the Conference, etc.
The Technical Resolution of the IHO covers technical aspects such as the production of nautical charts, Sailing Directions, Notices to Mariner, Tide Tables, etc. In the Technical Resolution, Section 4 (Geographic Names) of Chapter A (Subject of General Application) is related to naming issues. Especially A4.2 (International Standardization of Geographical Names) clearly explains an international standard on geographical names.
A 4.2 International Standardization of Geographical Names
1.- It is resolved that the IHB should maintain continuous contact with the United Nations Organization and specifically with the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, for all studies or actions relating to geographical names involving or affecting hydrographic publications. The Bureau should insure that actions previously taken on hydrographic matters, with respect to names, within the IHO are brought to the attention of appropriate United Nations Conferences or working groups. The Bureau should also promulgate to Member States information on all significant developments on this subject as they occur.
2.- It is recommended that, since national standardization of geographical names is an essential preliminary to international standardization, Hydrographic Offices encourage and support the establishment of national names authorities, following the principles and procedures recommended by the resolutions on this subject adopted by the United Nations Conferences on Geographical Names.
3.- It is recommended that the IHB co-operate with the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names with the object of achieving international standardization of names of maritime and undersea features.
4.- It is further recommended that co-operation should, in particular, be extended in the under-mentioned activities of the United Nations Group of Experts :
- a) Study of existing national and international practices concerning the delineation and naming of oceans and seas, including their integral subdivisions, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, with a view to recommending improvements in current nomenclatural practices and procedures.
- b) Drawing up a system for naming undersea features beyond a single sovereignty and proposing it as a basis for preparing an international convention on the subject.
- c) Standardizing the definitions of undersea feature "terms and definitions" in order to promote their acceptance and use by names authorities.
- d) Developing procedures for international standardization of naming new undersea features as they are discovered, defined and identified in the future.
5.- It is recommended that when Hydrographic Offices produce gazetteers or geographical dictionaries, these publications be standardized as far as possible in accordance with resolutions on the subject adopted by the United Nations.
6.- It is recommended that where two or more countries share a given geographical feature (such as, for example, a bay, strait, channel or archipelago) under a different name form, they should endeavour to reach agreement on fixing a single name for the feature concerned. If they have different official languages and cannot agree on a common name form, it is recommended that the name forms of each of the languages in question should be accepted for charts and publications unless technical reasons prevent this practice on small scale charts. e.g. English Channel/La Manche.