Press Releases

    20 January 2004

    United Nations Holds Open Informal Session on Education and Outer Space

    VIENNA, 20 January (UN Information Service) -- An open informal session on “Education and training in space-related areas: challenges and opportunities in the UN system”, will be held on the afternoon of 23 January at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The session will take place immediately after the 24th annual session of the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities, to be held from 21 to 23 January.

    The purpose of this first informal open session is to exchange views and information between Member States of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the United Nations agencies, on how to strengthen the activities of the United Nations in space-related areas. The session will include presentations by United Nations agencies and Member States on their respective space-related education and training programmes. The session will also include an open discussion on the topic of “Contributions of the space community to the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development”.

    Member States will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with training programmes offered by the United Nations system, such as the UNESCO Space Education Programme and the WMO Space Programme. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs will present its programme of seminars and workshops on space applications, regularly organized for the benefit of experts, scientists, engineers and policy makers from developing countries.

    Representatives from the following countries and United Nations entities will participate in the informal session: China, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United States, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, United Nations Office for Project Services, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization and World Meteorological Organization.

    The United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities convenes annually to discuss the coordination of and cooperation in current and future activities, and  to report to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

    * *** *

    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at