Press Releases

    UNIS/OS/324
    1 December 2005

    United Nations Holds International Meeting for the Establishment of an International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems

    VIENNA, 1 December (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 two-day International Meeting for the Establishment of an International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG). The International Meeting will be held at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, on 1 and 2 December.

    Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) constitute one of the most promising space applications that can be used to implement the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III), which was held in Vienna in 1999. The resolution "The Space Millennium: Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development", adopted by UNISPACE III, recommended the use of space applications for human security and development. This was to improve the efficiency and security of transport, search and rescue, geodesy and other activities by promoting the enhancement of universal access to and compatibility of space-based navigation and positioning systems.

    The Action Team on GNSS, established by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) under the leadership of the United States and Italy to implement the recommendation of UNISPACE III regarding GNSS, presented its final report to COPUOS in 2004. Among its recommendations was the establishment of an international committee on GNSS to promote the use of GNSS infrastructure on a global basis and to facilitate exchange of information. COPUOS included this recommendation in the Plan of Action proposed in its report to the General Assembly on the review of the implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III. The General Assembly endorsed the Plan of Action and invited GNSS and augmentation system providers to consider establishing the ICG in order to maximize the benefits of GNSS to support sustainable development.

    Since 2001, OOSA has organized a number of regional workshops and international meetings to promote the use of GNSS and, in the latest of these events, to develop the draft Terms of Reference for the ICG.

    The International Meeting will review and discuss the draft Terms of Reference and is expected to reach final agreement on those terms. OOSA will continue to actively support ICG as an observer. When requested, OOSA may also act as an organizer and focal point for specific meetings and activities of ICG.

    Approximately 45 participants from the following countries, international organizations and entities are expected to attend the International Meeting: China, India, Italy, Japan, Russian Federation, United States, International Telecommunication Union, European Commission, European Position Determination System, European Space Agency, Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, Committee on Space Research, International Association of Geodesy, International Association of Institutes of Navigation, International Cartographic Association, International Council for Science, International Federation of Surveyors, International GNSS Service, International Union of Radio Science, 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/ .

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    For information contact:

    Qais Sultan
    Associate Programme Officer, OOSA
    Telephone: +43 1 260 60 4962
    E-mail: qais.sultan@unvienna.org