CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Fifty-seventh session, 11-20 June 2014

REPORT ON THE THIRTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE INTER-AGENCY MEETING ON OUTER SPACE ACTIVITIES (UN-SPACE)

Statement by Simonetta Di Pippo,

Director, Office for Outer Space Affairs, Chair of the 34 th session of the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

I am pleased to inform you that the 34th session of the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities was held from 13 to 14 May 2014 at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. This was the first time when the Inter-Agency Meeting, the mechanism for coordination and cooperation in space-related activities among United Nations entities, was held under the name UN-Space, pursuant to the recommendation of the General Assembly contained in resolution A/RES/68/75.

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

          The report of the 34th session of UN-Space is before you in document A/AC.105/1064. I will now highlight the results of the Meeting:

  • The Inter-Agency Meeting looked into the ways to further enhance coordination, cooperation and synergy within the United Nations system in planning and implementation of space-related activities, and has adopted a flexible approach to its agenda setting in order to be more adaptive to present needs and interests of participating United Nations entities.
  • The Meeting decided to include in the agenda for its next session in 2015 an exchange of views and information on the report of the Group of Governmental Experts on Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures in Outer Space Activities (A/68/189), in line with the overall recommendations of the GGE as endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/50. The consideration of this item would be mainly of direct interest to such entities as the Office of Disarmament Affairs (ODA), United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and OOSA.
  • The Meeting also decided that the upcoming special report would address the theme of space and global health. Delegations will recall that the special reports of the Inter-Agency Meeting are generated biennially with a thematic approach. The focus on global health would be a valuable addition to the collection of previous special reports that covered "New and emerging technologies, applications and initiatives for space-related inter-agency cooperation" (A/AC.105/843), "Space benefits for Africa: contribution of the United Nations system" (A/AC.105/941), "Use of space technology within the United Nations system to address climate change issues" (A/AC.105/991), and "Space for agriculture and Food Security" (A/AC.105/1042).

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

Following its practice of promoting dialogue among United Nations entities, Member States and other stakeholders, the eleventh open informal session was held on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 on the theme "Engaging space tools for development on Earth - contribution of space technology and applications to the post-2015 development agenda".

The concluding discussion of the open informal session attracted discussion on the conceptual question on how to define a formula for the contribution of space technology applications to the global development agenda. I would like to request member States of the Committee to continue encouraging the participation of their representatives in the open informal sessions of UN-Space.

Taking advantage of the adjacency of the Inter-Agency Meeting with the 14 th plenary meeting of the United Nations Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG), a joint UN-Space - UNGIWG meeting was organized in the afternoon on 14 May. The next session of UN-Space in 2015 could also be organized jointly with UNGIWG and/or the Secretariat for the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM); or to be hosted by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok if held in conjunction with a meeting of the Commission involving its Member States. The decision on the venue and timing will be taken in the intersessional period.

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

This year, the report of the Secretary-General on the coordination of space-related activities within the United Nations system for the period 2014-2015, one of the flagship outputs of the Inter-Agency Meeting, was prepared in the inter-sessional period. The report addresses the post-2015 development agenda and provides an overview of current efforts by the contributing United Nations entities, including those efforts aimed at achieving environmental sustainability, inclusive social and economic development and promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

An objective of the Secretary-General's report this year is also to assist the Committee in its considerations of the agenda item on space and sustainable development, and the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee in discussions on the role of space technology for socioeconomic development in the context of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the post-2015 development agenda. The report is before you in document A/AC.105/1063.

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

I would like to conclude my statement by reminding delegations that the presentations made at the open informal session as well as reports and information on the current space-related activities of United Nations entities are available at the website dedicated to the coordination of outer space activities within the United Nations system ( www.uncosa.unvienna.org).

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

Last week, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Mr. Yury Fedotov, in his statement has put a clear message: it is the time to make the overall governance of the peaceful uses of outer space an integral part of the international community's global commitments on sustainable development, and to demonstrate to the international community the essential role of space in development, particularly within the context of the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference and the emerging post-2015 development agenda. In this regard, the Office will do its best to ensure that UN-Space, through United Nations entities, promotes increased practical application of space technology for development and addresses the lack of awareness of space's catalytic role therein.

I thank you for your attention.

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