Press Releases

    UNIS/OS/290
    4 October 2004

    World Space Week to Highlight Space Solutions for Sustainable Development

    VIENNA, 4 October (UN Information Service) – Events in almost 50 countries around the world are planned as part of this year’s international celebration of World Space Week, which takes place annually from 4 to 10 October. The theme for the 5th World Space Week is “Space and Sustainable Development”.

    World Space Week celebrates the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition. Endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1999, it marks the anniversary of two milestones in the human exploration and use of outer space: the launch of the first artificial satellite, SPUTNIK I, on 4 October 1957, and the entry into force of the Treaty Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, which took place on 10 October 1967.

    “Space technology can be used in various fields to promote sustainable development, such as water resources management, agriculture, disaster mitigation, humanitarian assistance, education and public health,” said Sergio Camacho-Lara, Director of the Vienna-based United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA). “World Space Week reminds us that the benefits of outer space should accrue to humans around the world, particularly in developing countries.”

    Worldwide events scheduled for World Space Week are coordinated by Spaceweek International Association, a non-governmental, educational organization. Some highlights of the activities planned for World Space Week 2004 include the Space Generation Congress in Vancouver, Canada, where approximately 200 young adults will discuss their visions of the future utilization and exploration of space; a Space Youth Internet Forum in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; a World Space Poster Exhibition at the SOS Children’s Village in Asiakwa, Ghana; a video-conference that will allow students from different schools on the Atlantic Coast of Colombia to ask members of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA) questions about the role that space technology can play in sustainable development; and a competition entitled “The First Human Expedition to Planet Mars” in Hungary, where children will have to demonstrate the field work that the first humans on the surface of Mars will need to undertake.

    School children from Vienna will have the opportunity to visit the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in the Vienna International Centre on 8 October. They will hold a mock United Nations conference, where they will compare and discuss their different ideas about an ideal planet. Following the conference, the children will meet with an OOSA representative, to hand over drawings of their ideal planet, which will be displayed at the OOSA Permanent Space Exhibit in the Vienna International Centre.

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    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.oosa.unvienna.org.