Initiated in 1990, the United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative (UNBSSI) has contributed to international and regional development of astronomy and space science through annual workshops organized under the umbrella of the United Nations, focusing specifically on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY2007, 2005-2009) and the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI, 2010-2012). UNBSSI has led to the establishment of planetariums, astronomical telescope facilities, and IHY/ISWI instrument arrays worldwide, particularly in developing nations. The Workshop is the 20th workshop in the UNBSSI and will also deliberate on a number of follow-ups to UNBSSI of regional and international standing achieved in the past 20 years.
IISWI (2010-2012) was envisioned to continue the tradition of IHY (2005-2009) in the worldwide deployment of space weather instrument arrays. To date, ISWI contributes to the observation of space weather through 18 instrument arrays with close to 1000 operating instruments in more than 100 nations supported by designated national ISWI coordinators. The first workshop on ISWI was held in Helwan, Egypt, and hosted by the Helwan University on behalf of the Government of Egypt, Egypt, in 2010, particularly for the benefit of nations in Western Asia (UN GA document A/AC.105/994). In 2011 the United Nations/Nigeria Workshop on ISWI was hosted by the Center for Basic Space Science of the National Space Research and Development Agency on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly for the benefit of nations in Africa (UN GA document A/AC.105/1018). The third ISWI workshop is held in Ecuador in 2012, specifically for the benefit of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The purpose of the Workshop is to report new scientific insights into universal processes in the solar system that affect space weather and the terrestrial environment aimed at understanding the impacts of space weather on Earth and the near-Earth environment. Preference will be given to studies of space weather phenomena that are based on analyzing data and processing images that were recorded by ISWI instrument arrays. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for potential instrument providers and operators to engage collaborators from specific geographical locations to broaden the coverage of existing instrument arrays, and to provide scientific background needed for modeling the physical processes. The Workshop is being organized to focus on space weather science.