Press Releases

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    UNIS/OS/455
    10 June 2015

    Space for the post-2015 development agenda - UN Outer Space Committee opens today

    Marking 50 years of the first spacewalk, Alexey A. Leonov to address the Committee

    VIENNA, 10 June 2015 (UN Information Service) - The 58th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) begins today at the Vienna International Centre. In line with the historic steps being taken in 2015 on sustainable development and climate change, the Committee will focus its discussions on the role that space will play in meeting these challenges.

    For the first time, the Committee will also consider transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities and how they relate to the safety of space operations and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. This is a preparatory exploration of the topics that will be covered during a joint ad hoc meeting of the First and Fourth Committees of the General Assembly in late October. The report of the Group of Governmental Experts on Transparency and Confidence-building Measures in Outer Space Activities ( http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/oosadoc/data/documents/2014/aac.105/aac.1051080_0.html) will be at the centre of those considerations. These are all closely linked to sustainable development on Earth.

    At a side event on 11 June, hosted by France, delegations will hear from experts on the role of satellites in climate change. This event will present how space can contribute to understanding global warming and how to help societies mitigate its consequences.

    The Committee this year also will decide on the special theme of its session for 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer space (UNISPACE I) which was held in 1968. "UNISPACE+50" will build on the post-2015 development agenda where stronger space governance and supporting structures are required to protect the space environment and secure the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

    Finally, the Committee's Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Affairs will continue to negotiate a set of voluntary guidelines, which, when finalized, will provide a foundation for national and international practices and safety frameworks for conducting outer space activities.

    The Committee, which has been at the centre of global space governance for more than 50 years, will also host cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his historic mission as the first human to walk in space.

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    The UN Office for Outer Space (UNOOSA) also officially launched its new website today. With easier navigation, improved access to information and multimedia additions, this new website has been designed to better serve the Member States of COPUOS and to raise awareness of UNOOSA's work.  Read more at www.unoosa.org

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    The following side events will be held during the COPUOS session from 10-19 June at the Vienna International Centre:

    Panel Discussion on Satellites and Climate Change followed by reception (France)
    Thursday, 11 June at 1 p.m., Boardroom D

    Reception hosted by Israel, presenting the 66th International Astronautical Congress
    Thursday, 11 June at 6 p.m., VIC Restaurant (Mozart Room) , VIC

    Reception, Space Generation Advisory Council, opening by Cosmos Orchestra with selection of works by Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven
    Friday 12 June at 6p.m., VIC Restaurant (Mozart Room) , VIC

    The Hubble Space Telescope, 25 Years of Cosmic Discovery, lecture by Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Senior Scientist for Hubble space|
    Monday, 15 June, 5 pm, Lecture Hall, Natural History Museum, Vienna

    Special talk by Astronaut Sandy Magnus, who spent a total of 157 days in space on three separate missions including on board the final mission of the Space Shuttle, on the subject of Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)
    Tuesday, 16 June, Room C4, 7th floor

    Painting Exhibition on China's Space Exploration---Flying with the Wings of Art (China) and reception
    Wednesday, 17 June, 1-2.30 p.m., VIC Restaurant (Mozart Room) , VIC

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    Further information on the 58 th session of COPUOS can be found at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/copuos/2015/index.html

    Media representatives who wish to attend the side events and who are not accredited to the VIC should contact press@unvienna.org

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    For more information please contact:

    Sinead Harvey
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-8718
    Email: sinead.harvey[at]unoosa.org