Press Releases

    2 April 2002


    To Discuss Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment
    And the Concept of the "Launching State"

    VIENNA, 2 April (UN Information Service) – The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and review of the concept of the "launching state" will be among topics discussed at the forty-first session of the Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COUPOS) meeting here from 2 to 12 April 2002.

    Other topics on the agenda include: matters relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space; and activities of international organizations relating to space law.

    Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment

    The Subcommittee will consider the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Preliminary Draft Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets. The Convention and accompanying Draft Protocol aim to create a system of international interests in spacecraft, for instance by establishing an international system for registering these interests. The Convention was opened for signature on 16 November 2001 following a diplomatic conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The Preliminary Draft Protocol is being developed by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit).

    Concept of the "Launching State"

    The "launching State" is an important concept in space law and is used in two of the United Nations treaties on outer space: the Liability Convention and the Registration Convention. Among other things, it helps to identify states responsible under the Liability Convention for damage caused by space objects, as well as states responsible for registering satellites with the United Nations under the Registration Convention.

    The Subcommittee is considering the item on "Review of the concept of the ‘launching State’" in accordance with the three-year work plan, which began in 2000. In 2002, the final year of the work plan, the Subcommittee will review measures to increase adherence to and promote the full application of the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.


    Space traffic management will be the topic of this year’s special symposium to be held on the opening day of the Subcommittee session. It will include several topical lectures by academics and professionals including comparative legal and institutional aspects of the space traffic management, an overview of the early concepts for space traffic, existing elements of traffic management in the field of telecommunications and the role of aerospace objects in the future.


    The Subcommittee, like COPOUS, its parent Committee, has the following member States:

    Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam.

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    For more information visit the web site of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs at

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