Dubai, United Arab Emirates

20 November 2016

Secretary-General's message to United Nations/United Arab Emirates High Level Forum: Space as a Driver for Socio-economic Sustainable Development

[Delivered by Mr. Kim Wonsoo, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs]

I am pleased to send greetings to this High Level Forum on space as a driver for socio-economic sustainable development, and I thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs for organizing it.  

The application of space science and technology is essential to the advancement of humankind and the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
In two years, the world will mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE I), held in 1968 in Vienna.  UNISPACE+50 is an opportunity to strengthen the role of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Office for Outer Space Affairs in the governance of outer space activities.
Outer space is an inherently multilateral domain.  It is essential that we foster durable international cooperation on its peaceful use for the benefit of all nations and people.  This High Level Forum is an important platform for such cooperation, bringing together multiple stakeholders in the space arena.  I count on your constructive contribution to UNISPACE+50.
Over the next few days, you will consider a number of important topics, including the protection of an already fragile near-Earth space environment and the expanding role of space science and technology in meeting the growing challenges to sustainable development.  I wish you a fruitful meeting and look forward to learning of your recommendations.