United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

United Nations/International Astronautical Federation Workshops 

United Nations/International Astronautical Federation Workshop on
"Space Solutions for Global Problems: Building Partnership with All Stakeholders in Human Security and Development"

Houston, Texas, United States of America, 10-12 October 2002

Co-sponsored by European Space Agency, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Committee on Space Research

Hosted and co-sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Available online resources:



1. Background

As the world moved from the era of Cold War to the age of globalization, the focus of space activities shifted toward meeting needs of society. The overarching need is to enhance human security and development in a sustainable manner. The advancement in space science and technology can provide enormous economic and social benefits that would contribute to meeting this need, particularly for the benefit of developing countries. Space applications already provide effective tools to improve navigation and communications, reduce the impact of disasters, protect the environment, promote global health, improve food security and provide health and education services to rural areas. The Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) recommended thirty-three actions that constitute the nucleus of a strategy to provide space solutions to these and other global problems. Pursuing that strategy, developed jointly by governments and space-related inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and industry, would require forming partnerships among the stakeholders that should be involved in carrying out each of the thirty-three actions.

Inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations are forming partnership with space agencies and coordinating their efforts to increase tangible economic and social benefits with the use of space applications. These entities include the organizers of this Workshop, the United Nations and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), as well as its co-sponsors, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The Workshop should serve to attract others, in particular the space industry, to join their efforts in making space an important contributor to human security and development.

Successful applications of space technology are improving the quality of life of many people in the world. However, this is not well recognized by policy makers or by the society as a whole. This is also not happening in many developing parts of the world. Many aspects of the use of space applications to enhance human development and security still need to be addressed in a more comprehensive manner at a global level.

This Workshop is the twelfth in a series of Workshops organized jointly by the IAF and the United Nations to strengthen the capacity of the developing countries to use of space technology for their economic and social development. It will be held in Houston, United States of America, during the World Space Congress.


2. Objectives

The Workshop will aim to achieve the following objectives, taking fully into account what was already accomplished by UNISPACE III: i) identify areas in which space applications make significant contributions to enhancing human security and development; ii) identify ways to increase the awareness of policy makers and the general public of the practical benefits of space applications in enhancing human security and development; iii) identify priority areas of human security and development where efforts should be strengthened to make space tools available to decision-makers and programme managers, particularly in developing countries; iv) develop a strategy to integrate the use of space applications in enhancing human security and development in those priority areas; the strategy should indicate possible funding sources, appropriate players to carry out the strategy, including non-governmental entities; v) suggest a monitoring mechanism to assess the progress made in implementing the strategy.


3. Expected results

The workshop is expected to yield the following results: i) a clear demonstration of the economic and social benefits that space applications already provide, particularly in developing countries; ii) concerted efforts made and better approach taken by space-related government agencies and organizations to gain political support for space activities that contribute to economic and social development; iii) recognition of the benefits of implementing the strategy adopted by UNISPACE III to provide space solutions for global problems; iv) increased involvement of non-governmental entities in expanding the use of space applications to enhance human security and development; v) credible funding strategy to support space-related activities that enhance human security and development, in particular those being carried out as follow-up actions of UNISPACE III.


4. Sponsorship of the Workshop

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the International Astronautical Federation will sponsor the Workshop. The European Space Agency (ESA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (AIAA), and Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) will co-sponsor the Workshop. Co-sponsorship is still open to other interested entities.


5. Profile of Participants

Up to 200 participants can be accommodated. The Workshop should be attended in particular by: i) decision-makers and programme managers in ministries, government agencies and the private sector who are responsible for promoting any aspects of economic and social development in industrialized and developing countries; ii) project managers of funding institutions and regional banks that promote human security and development with the use of science and technology; iii) programme managers of space agencies that deal with the promotion of any aspects of economic and social development; iv) senior representatives of non-governmental organizations that promote the use of space science and technology for human security and development; v) researchers and experts from the scientific community involved in the areas indicated in the section on "Preliminary programme of the Workshop" below.


6. Preliminary programme of the Workshop

The programme of the Workshop will include successful applications of space technologies in the following topics:

*   Space applications for protecting Earth�s environment;
*   Space applications for disaster management;
*   Space applications for managing natural resources and enhancing food security;
*   Space applications for enhancing health and medical services;
*   Increasing awareness and building capacity in using space tools;
*   Building capacity in ground systems to harness benefits of space tools;
*   Funding and financing strategies to support the use of space tools.

The programme will include working group discussions on the above topics.

A detailed draft programme will be made available on the Web site of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (http://www.oosa.unvienna.org)


7. Qualification for participation

Participants should be in positions of managerial or decision-making-responsibility at governmental agencies, national institutions or private industry with programmes or activities relating to promote human security and development. Those involved in the promotion of the use of science and technology to enhance any aspect of human security and development and have demonstrated their capability to yield tangible results in enhancing social and economic development through their projects and activities will be selected on a priority basis for funding. Applications from qualified female candidates are particularly encouraged.


8. Language of the Workshop

Applicants must have a good knowledge of ENGLISH, which will be the ONLY working language of the Workshop.


9. Financial arrangements

Within the limited financial resources available to the co-sponsors, a limited number of selected participants from developing countries will be offered financial support to attend the Workshop. Funded participants will be provided with a round trip air ticket (most economic fare) between the airport of international departure in their home country and Houston, United States of America. The co-sponsors will also defray the room and board expenses of these participants for the duration of the Workshop. Depending on the financial resources available to the co-sponsors, some support to participate in the World Space Congress may be provided to participants from developing countries.


10. Selection of participants

Participants to be funded will be selected jointly by the sponsors of the Workshop from nominations submitted to the United Nations by the governments/institutions or industries of developing countries. All applicants will be informed on the outcome of the selection process.

Participants not requiring funding will be invited on the basis of the information provided in their applications forms.


11. Deadline for submission of nominations

Two copies of the completed Application Form, properly endorsed by the applicant's agency/organization, should be submitted through the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the applicant's country, to reach the United Nations Expert on Space Applications, Room E 0966, United Nations Office at Vienna, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 500, A-1400, Vienna, Austria, no later than 23 August 2002. An advance copy of the Application Form may be sent directly to the Office to expedite the selection process (Fax: +43-1-26060-5830).


12. Points of Contact

For further information of the Workshop, please contact the following staff of the Office for Outer Space Affairs at the above address and fax number:

   Programme and sponsorship:
   Ms. Takemi Chiku:
   Telephone: (43) 1 26060 4943
   E-mail: Takemi.Chiku@unvienna.org

   Nominations for attendance and funding:
   Ms. Ayoni Oyeneyin:
   Telephone: (43) 1 26060 4953
   E-mail: Ayoni.Oyeneyin@unvienna.org








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