12 October 2005

United Nations to Hold Workshop on Space Education and Capacity Building for Sustainable Development

VIENNA, 12 October (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) will jointly hold a two-day Workshop on "Space Education and Capacity Building for Sustainable Development". The Workshop is being co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, the City of Kitakyushu, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It will be held in Kitakyushu, Japan, 14-15 October.

The Workshop is being held in conjunction with the 56th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), which will take place in Fukuoka, Japan, from 17 to 21 October. It is the 15th  such event in a successful series of meetings by the same organizers.

While the potential benefits of space science and technology and their applications for developing countries are generally recognized, experience has shown that the successful implementation and operational use of space technology is subject to the resolution of some major issues, including the continuous development of human resources. In this context, the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) attached great importance to enhancing capacity building through the development of human and budgetary resources; the training and professional development of teachers; the exchange of teaching methods, materials and experience; and the development of infrastructure and policy regulations in this area.

The Workshop will address these issues, and will discuss how space education can contribute to sustainable development programmes in developing countries. The Workshop has the following primary objectives: (a) to increase awareness among decision makers and the general public of the importance of space activities for improving the quality of life in developing countries; (b) to strengthen international and regional cooperation in the field; and (c) to develop a set of recommendations that could guide the implementation of the recommendations put forward by UNISPACE III.

The programme of the Workshop will include technical sessions such as: "Promoting space education for primary and secondary school students"; "Providing education and training for space scientists and engineers for space activities in the coming years"; "Enhancing public awareness and increasing support for space activities"; and "Strengthening the international framework to support global and regional initiatives to enhance space education and capacity building". The technical sessions will be followed by open discussions that will focus on specific topics of interest and will provide participants with additional opportunities to voice their opinions.

Approximately 80 participants, from the following countries and international organizations are expected to attend the Workshop: Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, UNESCO, ESA, IAF and OOSA. 


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  http://www.unoosa.org/ .

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For information contact:

Qais Sultan
Associate Programme Officer, OOSA
Telephone: + 43 1 260 60 4962
E-mail: qais.sultan@unvienna.org