25 September 2001

27–29 SEPTEMBER 2001

VIENNA, 25 September (UN Information Service) – The United Nations and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in co-operation with Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) are jointly organising a Workshop on the theme "Making Space Applications Operational - Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Development" from 27 - 29 September 2001 in Albi, France. It is the eleventh in a successful series of meetings organised by the Office for Outer Space Affairs under the United Nations Programme on Space Applications and by the IAF. The Workshop will be held in conjunction with the 52nd IAF Congress, which will be held from 1 - 5 October 2001 in Toulouse, France.

Applications of space technology play an increasing role in national and international developments. The potential benefits of space applications, particularly in developing countries, in such fields as remote sensing, telecommunications and satellite navigation and positioning systems are enormous.

However, the ability to develop and use space technology depends critically on the availability of human resources with appropriate knowledge and skills. Capacity building includes establishing policies, setting up of the institutional framework and physical infrastructure, ensuring support and gaining experience. As is the case for any project or programme, appropriate funding support is crucial for the success of development initiatives using space technology. The lack of funding from both national and international sources is often the major drawback in introducing space technology in operational development programmes or projects. This obstacle often results from a lack of awareness of the possibilities and requirements for ensuring adequate financial resources to support priority programmes. The Workshop will address this topic by discussing different aspects of selected projects that use space technology for sustainable development as well as funding and financing strategies.

The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, a subsidiary body of the inter-governmental United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will address funding and financing strategies at its next session in February 2002. The above-mentioned Workshop aims to facilitate the inter-governmental discussions by identifying various funding strategies and mechanisms that could be used for development programmes having a sound technical and policy basis. The Workshop is not a fund raising exercise. Rather, it aims at providing senior policy-makers and managers in developing countries with the necessary information on how to put together a successful project proposal.

Around 70 participants are expected to attend the Workshop from the following countries and international organisations: Algeria, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, USA, Uzbekistan, African Development Bank (ADB), European Space Agency (ESA), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Spaceweek International Association (SIA), UNESCO, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs.

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