Austria: The United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities (UN-Space) has issued a joint statement on strengthening the role of space science, technology and applications for sustainable development within the United Nations system. The statement was delivered in connection with a UN-Space high-level panel on “United Nations: Reinforcing synergies for UNISPACE+50 and beyond”, held in Vienna on 21 June 2018.
In the statement, UN-Space pledged to increase the use of the benefits offered by outer space for realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by working within their respective mandates and in close collaboration with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). They also agreed to join Member States and other stakeholders in promoting access to the scientific, technological, economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits of space activities through international cooperation.
In particular, UN-Space committed to promote and support:
- an integrated and coordinated approach to stronger partnerships and international cooperation and coordination in the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space through greater involvement of the space community in global development efforts;
- strengthening the capacities of Member States for sustainable development, including through increased integration of space science, technology and their applications, as well as space law and policy, in national development strategies; and
- equality and inclusiveness, reaffirming that the benefits of outer space shall be accessible to all Member States irrespective of their level of economic, social, scientific or technical development and in accordance with international law, and promoting gender equality throughout all sectors.
The UN-Space high-level panel and subsequent statement were part of UNISPACE+50, an event organized by UNOOSA to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, held in Vienna in 1968, and to provide an opportunity for the international community to consider the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind. Participants at the UN-Space high-level panel were:
- Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UNOOSA
- Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
- Stephen Matthias, Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs
- Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Managing Director, Directorate of External Relations and Policy Research, and Deputy to the Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
- Bruce McCarron, Director, Office of Operations, Legal and Technology Services, Bureau for Management Services, United Nations Development Programme
- Tiziana Bonapace, Director, Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The UN-Space mechanism is an inter-agency meeting responsible for enhancing cooperation and coordination on space-related matters between various entities within the United Nations system. UN-Space works to enhance the United Nations’ efforts on space technology and applications. It cooperates closely with UNOOSA to make full use of the benefits of space. It also encourages United Nations entities to use space to support the Sustainable Development Goals and reports to the Secretary-General on space-related activities within the UN while also creating special reports on specific topics.