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    8 April 2013

    Space Law discussed in Vienna

    VIENNA, 8 April (UN Information Service) - The 52nd session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) opened today at the Vienna International Centre. The session, which will last until 19 April, will also mark the International Day of Human Space Flight 12 April, declared by the General Assembly to commemorate one of the greatest triumphs of human progress: the first space flight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin that paved the way for worldwide human space flight endeavour and exploration. International cooperation in human space flight will also be in focus of a special presentation by William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations and Chair of the Multilateral Coordination Board of the International Space Station as an unparalleled human outpost in outer space, on 12 April.

    The topics on the agenda of the Subcommittee include the status and application of the United Nations treaties on outer space, definition and delimitation of outer space, legal mechanisms relating to space debris mitigation measures and capacity-buidling in space law. The Subcommittee will also review national legislation relevant to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space and open a new agenda item under a five year work-plan on the review of international mechanisms for cooperation in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space which will aim this year at identifying a range of bilateral and multilateral legal mechanisms for space cooperation.

    Two working groups will reconvene at this session: the Working Group on the Status and Application of the Five United Nations Treaties on Outer Space and the Working Group on the Definition and Delimitation of Outer Space.

    On Monday, 8 April, a symposium entitled "UNIDROIT Space Protocol" will be held from 3 pm to 6 pm in Board Room B, organized by the International Institute of Space Law and the European Centre for Space Law.

    On 12 April at 1 pm in Board Room B, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) that serves as the secretariat to the Legal Subcommittee will launch its newest edition of an on-line autograph album entitled "Messages from Space Explorers to future generations" that contains copies of the signed sheets with messages from Space Explorers to future generations, as an on-going and distinctive collection of the Office in all of the official UN languages.

    For more information about the 52 nd session of the Legal Subcommittee, see the sessions' page at

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    For further information contact:

    Romana Kofler (Ms.)
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962
    Email: romana.kofler(at)