Agreement boosts cooperation between UN space affairs office and UAE

UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo and the Director General of the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed Al-Ahbabi, at a signing ceremony held in Dubai. Photo: UN News/Runa A.

8 November 2017 – The United Nations and the United Arab Emirates have underscored their commitment to work together on the peaceful uses of outer space.

This follows the signing of an agreement between the heads of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the UAE Space Agency on Wednesday.

The ceremony was held during the High-Level Forum on Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development, jointly organized by the two agencies and taking place this week in Dubai.

Through the agreement, known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), UNOOSA and the UAE Space Agency will work on capacity-building initiatives in both the technical and legal aspects of the peaceful uses of outer space.

They also will undertake joint research projects on the use of space technology and applications for economic and social benefits, in addition to promoting and coordinating regional cooperation on these topics.

“Together we will work on a number of initiatives to promote and facilitate the peaceful uses of outer space and the use of space as a tool for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda […] and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo, pointing to, among others, a particular focus on the Middle East region, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM), especially for women and girls.

The five-year MOU also addresses the UAE Space Agency’s support for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first UN conference on space.

That event, known as UNISPACE+50, will take place in June of next year and will provide an opportunity for the international community to consider the future course of global space cooperation.

Wednesday’s session of the High-Level Forum also saw the announcement of a proposal by Thailand to host a regional office for UNOOSA.

Representatives from around 50 countries are attending the High-Level Forum in Dubai, which concludes on Thursday.


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