From 23 to 25 September, ESPI participated to the United Nations - International Astronautical Federation Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits: "Integrated Space Technologies and Applications for a Better Society". On the first day, ESPI Resident Fellow Dr. Stefano Ferretti presented “Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Space in listening to the Field”.

The workshop, organized by UNOOSA and co-sponsored by the European Space Agency and with contributions from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), was hosted by the Mexican Space Agency in conjunction with the 67th International Astronautical Congress, with the main objective to enhance the capabilities of countries in using space science, technologies and their applications in support of sustainable economic, social and environmental development. A detailed description can be found at:

The speakers first examined some of the relevant, affordable and accessible space-related technologies and information resources, and then discussed at large the role of space science, technology and applications in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while strengthening international and regional cooperation. Various themes were discussed, such as Space and Global Challenges, Space for Economic Development, Disaster Management and Early Warning, Health and Education, Environment and Biodiversity, Connectivity for Reducing Social Divide.

The outcome of the workshop was a set of recommendations to increase awareness, among key stakeholders as well as the research and academic community, on space technology applications and to promote initiatives that integrate space solutions into policy- and decision-making processes, considering also associated legal and regulatory matters.

The concluding round-table, moderated by Simonetta Di Pippo (UNOOSA), was attended by Pascale Ehrenfreund (DLR), David Kendall (COPUOS), Javier Mendieta (AEM), Chiaki Mukai (JAXA) and Johann-Dietrich Woerner (ESA), and aimed to link the UN/IAF workshop to the preparations for UNISPACE+50, providing an overview on how this conference may act as a catalyst to optimizing the future use of space-based solutions to contribute to addressing the World's challenges. These key reflections will now be injected in the UNISPACE+50 preparatory process, which is managed by UNOOSA, and that will lead in 2018 to the organization of a new UN conference, on the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) at its fifty-eighth session in June 2015 endorsed the plan of work for UNISPACE+50. UNISPACE+50 will review the contributions that the three UNISPACE conferences (UNISPACE I, held in 1968, UNISPACE II, held in 1982, and UNISPACE III, held in 1999) have made to global space governance. In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustainable development goals, UNISPACE+50 aims to chart the future role of COPUOS, its subsidiary bodies and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, at a time of an evolving and more complex space agenda when more participants, both governmental and non-governmental, are increasingly involved in ventures to explore space and carry out space activities. The activities of the Office are an integral part of the UNISPACE+50 thematic cycle and are aimed at contributing to outputs under the four pillars space economy, space society, space accessibility and space diplomacy.

Unispace 50


ESPI - European Space Policy Institute

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