United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is executive body of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 1348 (XIII) of 13 December 1958. The UNOOSA was initially created as a small expert unit within the UN Secretariat to service the ad hoc United Nations Committee for Outer Space Affairs. It became a unit within the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs in 1962, when the permanent Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space(COPUOS) met for the first time, and was transformed into the Outer Space Affairs Division of that Department in 1968. In 1992, the Division was transformed into the Office for Outer Space Affairs within the Department for Political Affairs. In 1993, the Office was relocated to the United Nations Office at Vienna. At that time, the UNOOSA also assumed responsibility for substantive secretariat services to the COPUOS’ Legal Subcommittee, which had previously been provided by the Office of Legal Affairs in New York. Questions relating to the militarization of outer space are dealt by the Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva.
The UNOOSA implements the decisions of the UN General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. The UNOOSA has the dual objective of supporting the inter-governmental discussions in the COPUOS, its Scientific & Technical Subcommittee, Legal Subcommittee and of assisting developing countries in using space technology for development. In addition it follows legal, scientific and technical developments relating to space activities, technology and applications in order to provide technical information and advice to Member States, international organizations and other UN offices.
The UNOOSA is headed by Director. Ms. Mazlan Othman of Malaysia serves as Director of the Office since December 2007. The UNOOSA has two sections: the Space Applications Section, which organizes and carries out the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and the Committee Services and Research Section, which provides substantive secretariat services to the COPUOS, its two subcommittees and its working groups. The Committee Services and Research Section also prepares and distributes reports and publications on international space activities and on international space law.
The COPUOS is majour international forum for co-ordination of countries’ peaceful space activities for the sake of all nations and plays the leading role in the UN system regarding exploration of outer space. The COPUOS pays special attention to the development of international cooperation in order to promote ordered extension of space activity, progressive economic growth and sustainable development of all nations, to discover new possibilities on how to apply space technologies, to achieve more effective use of natural resources, to manage disaster prevention and emergency response.
The activity of the Scientific and Technical Subcommitteeaims at implementing of countries’ existing scientific and technical potential in the sphere of space in order to achieve more progress in education, medicine, preservation of environment, effective use of natural resources, prevention of catastrophes, prediction of climate changes, and to promote growth of society’s welfare due to economic, social and cultural development.
The Legal Subcommittee pays great attention to meet judicial challenges, appeared as a result of current international space activity, to co-ordinate such activities in the course of update of international space law and to implement recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III).
Space activity of Ukraine aims at, first of all, widening and deepening of co-operation on international, inter-governmental and inter-departmental levels, development of foreign-economic activity of space-related enterprises, assisting in promotion of demonstration of national space engineering on the world’s markets, introduction of cutting-edge space technologies into different spheres of national economy, creating of conditions, which stimulate competition and private initiatives.
Ukraine actively uses the COPUOS’ stage to inform about own activity in the sphere of peaceful uses of outer space, as well as to explain its position on current problems regarding uses of space technologies to meet the principal challenges of the mankind.
Ukraine strictly stands for prevention of use and deployment in the space of the weapons of mass destruction and actively supports the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) in order to use such information to solve most dangerous problems, particularly, to alert on natural disasters and to mitigate its consequences, as well as to use of natural resources in the most efficient way.
Calendar of activities conducted by the UNOOSA.