24 November 2021

Secretary-General Anniversary Message Highlights Critical Role of United Nations Satellite Centre in Environmental Assessments, Humanitarian Relief Operations

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Satellite Centre, today:

I am pleased to congratulate UNOSAT — the United Nations Satellite Centre — on 20 years of outstanding support to the United Nations system and its Member States.

UNOSAT has steadily developed its portfolio of services over the years — from humanitarian rapid mapping and environmental assessments, to supporting the climate resilience of small island developing States, protecting cultural heritage, leveraging artificial intelligence, providing objective analysis during conflicts and exposing human rights violations.

As part of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), UNOSAT provides valuable training and capacity development to help communities prepare for floods and other natural disasters.

We are grateful to UNOSAT’s key partners — notably CERN [Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire] and the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters — as well as the many Member States that provide generous financial and other support.

Outer space is a crucial global commons, but it remains undergoverned.  To ensure the continued operating space for the critical work of centres like UNOSAT, my report on Our Common Agenda proposes a multi-stakeholder outer space dialogue at the Summit of the Future in 2023.

Satellite imagery and analysis is an essential resource for the United Nations and the broader multilateral community.  I look forward to the vital contributions of UNOSAT as we work together to achieve a more resilient and safe future for all.

For information media. Not an official record.