03 November 2006

United Nations Holds Space Law Workshop in Ukraine

     VIENNA, 3 November (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is organizing a four-day workshop on Space Law: "Status, Application and Progressive Development of International Space Law". The workshop, which will be held in Kiev, Ukraine from 6 to 9 November 2006 is hosted by the Government of Ukraine and co-organized by the International Centre for Space Law (Ukraine). It is the fifth in a series of workshops organized by OOSA with the aim of capacity-building in space law.

     Given the growing number of benefits derived from the use of space applications, the conduct of space activities by states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector continues to expand. These advances, together with the emphasis placed by the UN General Assembly and the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the importance of the UN treaties and principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, have made the development of space law and policies a priority for a growing number of countries. 

     The successful implementation and application of the international legal framework governing space activities depends on the understanding and acceptance of the UN treaties and principles on outer space by policy and decision makers. The development of space law and policy in a country often relies on professionals who are able to disseminate information and knowledge about the existing legal framework governing activities in outer space. The availability of such professionals is determined by the availability of educational opportunities and institutions that address the subject of space law and policy.

     The main objectives of the workshop are therefore: (a) to promote understanding, acceptance and implementation of the UN treaties and principles on outer space; (b) to promote an exchange of information on national space laws and policies, for the benefit of professionals involved in the development and implementation of those policies; (c) to consider legal aspects of commercialization of space activities; and (d) to consider development of university level studies and programmes in space law with a view to promoting national expertise and capability in this field.

The workshop will include presentations and discussions on the following topics: the UN treaties and principles on outer space; national space laws, policies and institutions; other space-related legal issues; ways and means of enhancing education opportunities in space law; and legal issues arising from commercial space activities.

Over 70 participants, including policy and decision makers from the following countries and international organizations are expected to attend the workshop: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan 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 http://www.unoosa.org/

For information contact:

Sergiy Negoda
Legal Officer, OOSA
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 4956
E-mail: sergiy.negoda@unvienna.org