For information only - not an official document
28 March 2011
Outer Space Legal Subcommittee to Hold 50th Session in Vienna
VIENNA, 28 March (UN Information Service) - The 50th session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) opened today at the Vienna International Centre. The session, which will last till 8 April, will address issues such as the status and application of the five United Nations treaties on outer space, definition and delimitation of outer space, matters relating to the character and use of the geostationary orbit and capacity-building in space law. On the first day of the session, a symposium organized by the International Institute of Space Law and the European Centre for Space Law, will be held on the theme "A new look on the delimitation of airspace and outer space".
The commemorative 50th session of the Legal Subcommittee takes place in the remarkable year 2011 when the United Nations, the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the space community are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first human to orbit the Earth, Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961, and the 50th anniversary of COPUOS.
Status and application of the five United Nations treaties on outer space
At this session, the Subcommittee will reconvene its working group on this item, which will review issues related to the Moon Agreement, liability, as provided for by the Liability Convention, and issues related to the registration of space objects in the case of the transfer of space activities or space objects in orbit, and the related possible legal solutions for the States involved.
General exchange of information on national mechanisms relating to space debris mitigation measures
Deliberations under this agenda item aim at understanding the different measures, including development of national regulatory frameworks, that States undertake to mitigate and prevent the increase in space debris. The Subcommittee will review ways in which the States are implementing space debris mitigation measures consistent with the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and/or the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), which were endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/217 of 21 December 2007.
General exchange of information on national legislation relevant to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space
At this session, the Subcommittee will reconvene its working group on this item, which will continue to examine responses received from Member States on their national legislation relating to space and will begin drafting its report, including conclusions, in accordance with the workplan for the period 2008-2011.
Capacity-building in space law
This agenda item aims at promoting cooperation with, and assistance to, developing countries in building their capacity in space law. The Subcommittee will be informed on any actions taken or planned in this regard on a national, regional or international level by Member States, permanent observers of the Committee and UNOOSA.
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For further information contact:
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962