25 October 2023
VIENNA, 25 October (UN Information Service) — United Kingdom Ambassador Corinne Kitsell and Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Aarti Holla-Maini, reconfirm the central role of space sustainability for the peaceful uses of outer space.
To this end, UNOOSA and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) announce completion of the third phase of the project “Awareness-raising and capacity-building related to the implementation of the Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities” (the LTS Project).
United Kingdom Ambassador Corinne Kitsell said: “The United Kingdom has an excellent relationship with UNOOSA, and this relationship has further strengthened with the arrival of Director Aarti Holla-Maini. Space sustainability is a priority for the UK, and UNOOSA has the clear mandate within the UN to take this work forward on behalf of all Member States. We look forward to building on this work and deepening our relationship with UNOOSA to build a world where space is used in a sustainable way and benefits all Member States.”
UNOOSA Director Aarti Holla-Maini said: “Space sustainability is and will continue to represent a core tenant of the work of UNOOSA. Through the generous support of the United Kingdom in this LTS project, UNOOSA is further strengthened to carry out its mandate as the Office in the UN system pertaining to space matters. This level of engagement with Member States ensures that the work of COPUOS has tangible and concrete outcomes for further implementation by Member States.”
Completion of Phase 3 of the LTS Project represents a significant milestone in the partnership between the UK and UNOOSA on this important issue. The Guidelines provide a general framework for ensuring that outer space is maintained for peaceful purposes and open for exploration, by current and future generations. Member States, through COPUOS (the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space), have provided UNOOSA with the mandate to work across the world irrespective of the degree of economic or scientific development of Member States and without discrimination of any kind to develop policies and practices in line with the guidelines.
In 2021, a partnership between the United Nations and the Government of the United Kingdom was announced to enhance the protection of future space activity.
Phase 1 of the project, launched in 2021, delivered a user-friendly publication of the Guidelines (link) in the six official UN languages for Member States, and invited Member States and organisations to submit case studies on implementation progress and lessons learned. UNOOSA has created a website (link) for the project to host related materials and the case studies.
In 2022, Phase 2 saw UNOOSA prepare a stakeholder study report based on experiences of Member States in implementing the LTS guidelines. The stakeholder study report was based on the information collected during 37 interviews with States members of COPUOS and five interviews with international intergovernmental organisations. The report focused on anonymised analysis of those interviews and was published as an open access resource last year (link).
Phase 3 built upon the work completed in the first two phases. The third phase saw the completion of four virtual events, each dedicated to a section of the Guidelines and the launch of an e-learning module. The 60-minute interactive training consists of 26 lessons, touching upon the essential role of space activities, the growing space sector and the associated challenges, the preamble and the 21 Guidelines.
Information on Phase 4 will be released in due course.
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For more information, please contact:
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
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