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    19 April 2013

    Legal Subcommittee on outer space issues concludes its 52nd session in Vienna today

    VIENNA, 19 April (UN Information Service) -  A set of recommendations on national legislation relevant to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space was adopted today by the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), that concluded its two week session today at the Vienna International Centre. Once endorsed by COPUOS, these recommendations that provide guidance and support for countries that are in the process of developing their own national space legislation are recommended for submission as a separate draft resolution for consideration by the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session.

    In the focus of this 52nd session was also the review of international mechanisms utilized in space cooperation such as the International Space Station (ISS) programme, which is a unique multilateral cooperation endeavour and the longest human outpost in outer space. Two special presentations were made on this by William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations and Chair of the ISS Multilateral Coordination Board and ISS partners. A working group on the review of international mechanisms for cooperation in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space will be established next year, and Setsuko Aoki of Japan was elected as the Chair of the Working group at this current session.

    The Legal Subcommittee also addressed other crucial items such as the legal mechanisms relating to space debris mitigation measures,  the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, definition and delimitation of outer space as well as other initiatives in the development of the international legal regime of outer space that complement the five treaties and five sets of declarations and principles of the United Nations on outer space activities.

    Marking the International Day of Human Space Flight on 12 April that coincided with the session, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), that serves as the secretariat to the Legal Subcommittee launched the second 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, available at

    "2013 is also the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the first space flight by a woman, cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova, and should be marked as a year of women achieving excellence in science and technology and overcoming physical limitations, " Mazlan Othman, UNOOSA Director said on this occasion. Cosmonaut Tereshkova herself will pay a visit to the United Nations in Vienna as a key speaker at a panel "Space: Building the future today", organized by UNOOSA during the 56th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on 12 June.

    Documents, digital recordings and presentations of the Subcommitee's 52nd session are available 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)