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    UNIS/OS/527
    6 February 2020

    UNOOSA and Japan join forces to address
    space debris challenge

    VIENNA, 6 February 2020 (United Nations Information Service) - The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of Japan signed a joint statement on their wish to cooperate in addressing the challenge of space debris. Both entities agreed to work together to increase global understanding and the consolidation of knowledge on space debris, to disseminate information on the latest research, to cooperate with space actors to support the implementation of existing mitigation guidelines, and to strengthen international cooperation and global awareness on space debris mitigation.

    Space debris is widely defined as all non-functional, human-made objects, including fragments and elements thereof, in Earth orbit or re-entering into Earth's atmosphere. Space debris is increasing, in line with the growing number of countries using space and of objects launched into outer space, and poses exponential risks of collision, threatening space operations and limiting the development of a secure commercial space environment.

    UNOOSA and the Government of Japan noted with satisfaction that many States and international intergovernmental organizations are implementing space debris mitigation measures, consistent with the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, and the Guidelines on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, amongst others.

    HIKIHARA Takeshi, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, stated the importance of raising global awareness about the challenges of space debris mitigation and said that he has high hopes for the upcoming cooperation with UNOOSA.

    UNOOSA Director, Simonetta Di Pippo, said: "This joint statement shows our common determination to increase awareness of, and global efforts to mitigate space debris. UNOOSA is the main platform for mobilizing international coordination in space activities and, with the support of Japan, as well as of other leading space entities, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), with whom we signed a similar joint statement last year, we are confident that we will be able to make strides in addressing this issue."

    The statement was signed during the 57 th Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), taking place in Vienna from 3 to 14 February 2020. The Government of Japan hosted a side event on space debris to which all 95 COPUOS Member States were invited.

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    For more information, please contact:

    Ottavia Pesce
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Telephone: (+43 699) 1459 8718
    Email: pesce[at]un.org