UAE Participates in Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Meeting in Vienna

16 June 2019

The UAE is participating in the 62nd session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held in Vienna, Austria from Wednesday, 12 June until Friday, 21 June. The session will involve discussions on the recommendations of two subcommittees that convened earlier.

Headed by H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, the UAE delegation included members of the UAE Space Agency’s higher management, and representatives of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

COPUOS will discuss methods to enhance international space governance, and the efforts of the space industry to achieve the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The meeting will also address the future role of active governmental entities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in space exploration, space activities, and the peaceful uses of outer space.

During the meeting, H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi asserted the importance of the space industry in realizing the UN’s sustainable development goals and highlighted the UAE’s various national space projects that contribute to achievement of these goals and the improvement of living standards for people on Earth.

H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi also underlined the importance of cooperation on an international level, including the significance of the Arab Space Coordination Group, which reflects the region’s unified efforts to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals, and demonstrates how the UAE is working to improve the capabilities and contribution of Arab countries to the international space community. 

H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi pointed out the remarkable satellites recently launched by the UAE including Al Yah 3, KhalifaSat, and MYSAT 1, as well as MeznSat, which is set to be launched later this year. His Excellency also briefed attendees on the latest updates in regards to the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe, under development by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre with the supervision and support of the UAE Space Agency.

H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi also spoke about the UAE Astronaut Program, which will launch the first Emirati astronaut into space in September, and provided an overview of the UAE's legislative and regulatory framework for the space sector.

While attending the session, H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi took part in a meeting of Arab delegations present in Vienna, which aimed to provide insights into the UAE Space Program and its latest achievements and projects. The meeting also touched on the Arab Space Coordination Group, its goals, and future strategies.

During the committee meeting, the UAE Space Agency presented a unified proposal on the required mechanism to maintain the sustainability, stability, and safety of the space environment, which was supported by all the participating members of the committee.

On the sidelines of the COPUOS session, the UAE Space Agency delegation held several official meetings with international space agencies and organizations, including a meeting with Dr. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), to discuss methods of enhancing regional cooperation in space science, technology, and applications in order to achieve sustainable development and build specialized capabilities, building upon a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2017.

The UAE Space Agency delegation also met with Dr. Scott Pace, Executive Secretary of the US National Space Council; His Excellency Marat Nurguzhin, the Vice-Minister of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry; and representatives from the Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency to discuss bilateral cooperation, the development of joint projects and areas of common interest in the space sector.

In addition to the individual meetings, the UAE Space Agency and the UAE Embassy in Vienna organized a reception on the sidelines of COPUOS during which the Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre discussed the latest developments within the UAE’s National Space Program with delegates from a number of countries who attended the reception.