Press Releases

    13 December 2004

    United Nations Holds Meeting in Vienna on the Use and Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems

    VIENNA, 13 December (UN Information Service) -- A five-day international meeting on the Use and Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) will be held at the Vienna International Centre, from 13 to 17 December 2004. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is jointly organizing the meeting with the United States of America (USA). 

    The meeting aims at reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the UN/USA Regional Workshops and international meetings on the Use and Applications of GNSS as well as the status of follow-up projects and potential ways to carry them forward; reviewing specific recommendations of the action team on GNSS and possible means to implement them; and finalizing the terms of reference for the establishment of an International Committee on GNSS (ICG).

    The action team on GNSS is one of 12 action teams established by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to implement priority recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III). Under the leadership of the United States and Italy, the action team currently consists of more than 38 countries and 14 international organizations.

    The benefits of GNSS applications are growing in areas such as aviation, maritime and land transportation, mapping and surveying, agriculture, power and telecommunications networks,  and disaster warning and emergency response. GNSS applications offer cost-effective solutions, especially for developing countries, to pursue economic growth without compromising the present and future need to preserve the environment, thus promoting sustainable development.

    The meeting will be attended by members of the action team on GNSS; GNSS experts who contributed to the results of the previous UN/USA Regional Workshops and international meetings, as well as to the follow-up initiatives resulting from those activities; experts nominated by the members of the action team; and potential members of the ICG. These experts are from the following countries and international and non-governmental organizations: Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, Zambia, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Telecommunication Union, Civil Global Positioning System Service Interface Committee, European Association for the International Space Year, European Commission, European Space Agency, International Association of Geodesy, International Association of Institutes of Navigation, International Cartographic Association, International Federation of Surveyors, International Global Positioning System Service and OOSA.

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    The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

    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