VIENNA, 17 January (UN Information Service) — An open informal session on “Space technology for sustainable development and disaster management: opportunities within the United Nations system”, will be held on the afternoon of 20 January at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. The session will take place immediately after the 26th annual session of the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities, to be held from 18 to 20 January.

The purpose of this informal open session is to exchange views and information between Member States and observers of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and United Nations entities, on activities and initiatives of the UN system in sustainable development and disaster management that involve space technology.

Member States will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with initiatives such as the International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”, as well as the UNESCO Space Education Programme and the Open Initiative on the Use of Space Technology in Support of the World Heritage Convention.

The UN Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities convenes annually, since 1975, to discuss current and future activities, emergent space technologies of interest and other related matters. The Meeting reports on its deliberations to COPUOS. The Meeting also compiles, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, a report on the coordinated space-related activities of the UN system, which serves as a strategic tool for UN entities to further enhance inter-agency cooperation and avoid duplication of efforts related to the use of various space applications.

Open informal sessions for the Member States and observers of COPUOS have been held by the Inter-Agency Meeting since 2004 to provide a constructive mechanism for an active dialogue between the entities of the UN system and Member States of COPUOS.

Representatives from the following countries and UN entities are expected to participate in the open informal session: Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Colombia, France, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Syria, Ukraine, United States, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, World Food Programme, UNOSAT, UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at

For information contact:

Qais Sultan
Associate Programme Officer
Telephone: +43 1 26060-4962

United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS)
P.O.Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: +43 1 260 60 – 3430; Fax: +43 1 260 60 7 5899

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