Three innovative events will enrich the Third UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III).


This is a major part of the Conference acting as a platform for discussing various space-related issues. It will feature around 40 seminars, workshops and panels. Attended by space industry and government representatives as well as international experts invited by the organizers, the purpose of the Technical Forum will be to provide opportunities for the sharing of ideas and to forge mutually beneficial relationships between UN Member States' space agencies and the space industry, ultimately to ease the implementation of the recommendations of the Conference.

There will be six subject areas examined during the Forum:


This will include a scientific forum on climate variability and global change addressing, as its main issue, the need for a balanced programme of space observations, airborne and ground-based measurements and modelling. An essential objective is to develop new observing techniques for monitoring important factors and components of the global environmental system from space. Through international cooperation, it intends to define a global observing strategy to systematically sample relevant global properties.

Complementing this forum, there will be a workshop entitled 'Blue Planet, Green Planet' about the data now available from space technology showing that even the subtle changes in the oceanic circulation (Blue Planet) and long term changes on the land surface (Green Planet) can be detected with high precision. The workshop will inform the global community of the availability of this data and how it can be used to study the planet even at a local level.

On a related issue, an 'International Forum on Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS): into the Next Millennium' will be convened. This forum will provide information on IGOS and its constituent organizations and programmes as well as the present joint efforts on synergy and cooperation among IGOS partners. It will also present the practical implications of an IGOS.


There will be six workshops on this subject of which one will be on Resource Mapping from Space. It will cover space sensors for Earth observation and their applications for land use and land cover studies, including high resolution electro-optical, hyperspectral and radar imagery from space. The workshop will describe the characteristics of these systems and their potential for land cover mapping. Methods of data fusion and its' benefits for terrain analysis will also be discussed.

Another workshop on Remote Sensing for the Detection, Monitoring and Mitigation of Natural Disasters will focus on its use in floods, typhoons and hurricanes, land degradation and erosion, forest fires and volcanoes, desertification and drought monitoring and pollution monitoring. Discussions will be held on problems related to the different spatial and time scales and the different geophysical parameters monitored, as well as perspectives for future progress in this field.

Global Health is the title of one of two seminars on health issues. It will provide information on the activities of the Centre for Health Applications of Aerospace Related Technologies (CHAART) which gives technical support for activities, as well as outreach and training for the use of remote sensing technologies in the study of infectious diseases. The user community has identified the lack of disease-focused training as one of the major obstacles to implementing these technologies into surveillance and control programmes of infectious diseases on a global scale. Past participants from developing countries in CHAART's activities will present case-studies of the successful identification of infectious disease sites using satellite images.

A Demonstration in Tele-health: Remote Cardiac Consultation and Diagnosis, will be held between Vienna and Ottawa over tele-health platforms connected by broadband networks, including satellite communications. It will show the viability of performing physical examination and transmission of diagnostic images for cardiac consultation.

There will also be a round table discussion on Tele-education to assess the present situation and perspectives for future development in this field. The panellists will discuss the potential role of the teacher as an educational strategist, a facilitator rather than lecturer. The discussion will illustrate how this technology benefits the developing world.


In this section of the programme, the Technical Forum examines the benefits of basic space science using workshops, symposiums and a round table discussion.

Prior to the Conference, there will be a special five day environmental symposium entitled "Preserving the Astronomical Sky". It will develop recommendations for the controlled development of space activities to ensure the continued co-existence of scientific and other activities in space as well as on the ground.

There will be two half day symposiums. One will address Recent Progress and Future Plans for Exploration of the Solar System by space techniques with the emphasis on international cooperation. It will also allow time for discussion with the younger generation and the general public on how to share the outcomes from advanced exploration and encourage the involvement of developing countries in solar system exploration.The other symposium will lookat the historical background and highlight the Contribution of Space Techniques to the Exploration of the Universe. It will examine the challenges facing future technological developments for space exploration, including the prospects for space interferometry.

There will be two Workshops on Education. The International Astronautical Union (IAU) and Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) are coordinating one to develop recommendations for better-coordinated efforts to promote education in basic space science in the developing world.

Simultaneously, a Round Table on Integration of Earth Observation into Secondary Education will aim to increase the awareness of the efforts of members of the European Association for International Space Year (EURISY) to enhance understanding of the benefits of space technology in schools. Emphasis will be on the advantages of including Earth observation and remote sensing within the curricula of secondary schools. The Round Table will strive to increase the awareness of policy makers, educators and managers from industry of such advantages.

A Workshop on Space Debris will provide information on the current status of our knowledge and the extent of the problem. It will examine applied mitigation measures, the activities of professional societies as well as the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee. In addition, the discussions at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the peaceful uses of outer space will be reviewed.

At a Workshop on Mars Exploration, current knowledge and understanding of the planet, its importance in the search for extraterrestrial life and plans and prospects for exploration, will be presented. The workshop will also seek new opportunities for international cooperation and global participation in exploring Mars.

A review of worldwide efforts to understand the natural near-Earth environment will be discussed at a Workshop on Observations of Near-Earth Objects. This will include the nature, population and the possible influence of near-Earth objects (NEO) on the planet. The workshop will aim to advance international opportunities for participation in these efforts, including the involvement of developing countries.


Here, the Technical Forum looks at Information needs and the global approach to them. It will explore the emerging convergence of wireless communications and Earth observation with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the workshop entitled Geospatial Data Access. The subjects within the workshop will range from direct access to Earth's observation data archives, to direct access to space-derived information in the field such as a mobile office for forestry operations.


A Workshop on Small Satellites at the Service of Developing Countries will engage speakers from different parts of the world who will present their experiences and express their views on the present and future capabilities of small satellites. Emphasis will be on the use of small satellites as tools for enhancing education and training activities in space fields as well as for strengthening international cooperation, particularly for the benefit of developing countries.

There will also be a Workshop on Developing Indigenous Earth Observation Industrial Capabilities in Developing Countries which will produce a report on the options available and suggested course of action for these countries. The topics in the workshop will include :

The emphasis will be on capacity building and developing the necessary strategic partnerships between government and industry.

A Workshop on Clean and Inexhaustible Space Solar Power will explore the opportunity for proposed Solar Power Satellites (SPS) to be used as a mutually beneficial collaboration between industrialized and developing countries.


A High-level Space Industry Panel will address "Harnessing Space Development and Exploration: A Global Vision for the 21st Century." Heads from leading space agencies and senior executives from advanced technology firms and decision-makers from developed and developing nations will discuss the following topics :

The panellists will present their requirements, expectations and priorities in the areas listed above. Senior executives from spacefaring nations will provide their visions and perspectives for technology development and space business.

A Session on Results from the 5th International Cooperation in Space Workshop, "International Space Cooperation: Solving Global Problems", will be held for an audience of governmental delegates and other interested participants of UNISPACE III. The topics of discussion will include:

A day-long Forum on Perspectives of Space Activities in the Next Century will be attended by representatives from leading space agencies and related industries. It will be followed the next day by a Round Table on Cooperation and International Competition.

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UNISPACE III will host an exhibition from the 19 to 23 July, 1999. It is an exhibition to showcase global achievements in space technology as well as highlighting future development, together with providing a forum for business opportunities and establishing partnerships among developed and developing countries.

Companies, space agencies and institutes, international operational agencies and non-governmental and non-profit space-related organizations have been invited to participate as exhibitors. They will illustrate how space technology has hastened their development.

Topics featured at the exhibition will include:

In addition, technical presentation sessions will be held on a daily basis to provide representatives of national space agencies, institutions and industry to have the opportunity to address issues which are not accommodated in the Technical Forum programme.

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This is the first time such an event has been held at a UNISPACE Conference. UNISPACE III is to host a Space Generation Forum (SGF) for university students and young space professionals from many different countries. They will have the opportunity to fully present their insights and creative visions for the future of space in an international, intercultural environment.

The Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) requested the alumni of the International Space University to organize the Forum. The idea was to attract a variety of delegates from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. As a result, more than 150 young people will interact with scientists, leading thinkers and decision makers from around the world, discussing their ideas for space exploration in the next century.

To encourage in-depth discussions, the delegates will be divided into three groups which will be given the same topic to debate but each from a different perspective: the so-called 'Matrix Approach'.

There will be three common themes:

Currently, there are 14 possible topics for discussion:

The above 'Parallel Sessions' could be changed by the time the Conference is in session. Presently, there are 'Discussion Forums' posted on the Worldwide Web in which anyone can participate even if they are not able to attend the Conference. Therefore, depending on the interest in a certain topic, it could be omitted or replaced by one of greater interest by the time the Conference convenes.

On Monday 19 July, several Teleconferences are planned to receive and discuss ideas and to incorporate as recommendations, from the Space Generation Sister Conferences which will be taking place simultaneously in other countries such as Thailand and Great Britain

On Tuesday, 20 July, the Space Generation Forum delegates gather as a whole to discuss their visions of the future. These will be presented, in order of importance, at the Space Generation Forum's Plenary. Subsequently, UNISPACE III will receive a set of recommendations, some of which might be endorsed by Member States.The Forum's outcome will be reflected in the Conference's official report which will be a guide for governments and industries well into the next century.

In the meantime, the young scientists will be invited to observe the main Conference plenary meetings as well as to take part in all other UNISPACE events. There will be rocket displays and multimedia demonstrations in addition to a business opportunities area which will be open to the public from 21-23 July.

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