United Nations space office to be set up in Abu Dhabi


United Nations space office to be set up in Abu Dhabi

16 Jun 2020

A UN space office shall be set up in Abu Dhabi as officials sign a new partnership in a digital ceremony on Monday.

Signed by the UAE Space Agency and The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the agreement will pave way for discussions towards the creation of an international UNOOSA project office in the Capital. It comes as part of efforts to bolster collaborations on space activities and promote the use of space for sustainable development.

The partnership was signed by Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, and Simonetta Di Pippo, director of UNOOSA.

Several officials of both parties were also present at the virtual ceremony. It was the first bilateral international agreement inked by the UAE Space Agency through video conferencing.

The planned UNOOSA centre in the UAE will serve as a new global hub to foster progress on space sustainability and space for development issues.

Its focus will be on two main areas: To enhance the role of the space sector in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and apply sustainability standards in all space activities.

Dr Al Ahbabi said: "The UAE Space Agency is pleased to collaborate with UNOOSA in the effort to ensure sustainable development in outer space, so that all of humanity can continue to benefit from its uses for peaceful purposes and socioeconomic benefit now and in the long term."

Di Pippo said: "With space technology accelerating sustainable development around the world and global investment in the space environment increasing, now is the time to strengthen global dialogue on space sustainability issues."

During the ceremony, Dr Al Ahbabi presented the latest developments in the UAE's space sector, including updates on the Emirates Mars Mission, which is scheduled to launch in mid-July. He also discussed the roll-out of the second phase of the UAE Astronaut Programme, as well as advancements in policies and regulations, and incubator programmes for startups and entrepreneurs.

Source: Khaleej Times