Ninth Meeting of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), 10 -14 November 2014, Prague, Czech Republic, Hosted by the European GNSS Agency (GSA)

Opening Statement

by

Simonetta DI PIPPO, Director

Office for Outer Space Affairs

Excellencies,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

            It is my pleasure to welcome you all, on behalf of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, to the Ninth Meeting of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG). The Office feels very encouraged to see both providers and users of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) services being represented here today. Your presence underlines the great importance that you and your organizations attach to collaboration for the improvement of the coordinated service provision to benefit humankind.

Significant progress continues to be made through ICG and its Providers' Forum, and the results of this work not only promote the capabilities of GNSS to support sustainable development, but also promote new partnerships among members of ICG and institutions of the broader user community, particularly in developing nations. As the Executive Secretariat of the ICG and its Providers' Forum, the Office will continue to further its contributions to these achievements in the future.

            I would like to take the opening of this meeting of the ICG as an opportunity to thank those United Nations States members who gave the Office the opportunity over the past years to be connected to and participate in the ICG's development, and to highlight the fact that the ICG's achievement is considered a model in the United Nations Secretariat for excellent cooperative work through the Office in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

            I would also like to sincerely thank the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) for organizing and hosting this Ninth Meeting of the ICG on behalf of the European Union.

Distinguished delegates,

            The implementation of the work plans of ICG and its Providers' Forum, mindfully taking into account adopted Terms of Reference, gained momentum over the past ICG meetings and this was taken note of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its subsidiary bodies. We hope that the Office, the Executive Secretariat of the ICG, fulfilled the expectations of the membership of ICG.

Another highlight of our work  is the implementation of a Programme on GNSS Applications within the context of the work plan of the ICG Working Group C on Capacity Building and Information Dissemination. Under the Programme, the Office is successfully organizing workshops, training courses and schools focusing on capacity building in the use of GNSS-related technologies in various fields of applications, including space weather. The overall objective of these activities were to define the needs and requirements of end-users of GNSS and to provide a framework for scientific research enabled by GNSS.

            It is a pleasure for me to inform that this year, the regional centres for space science and technology education, affiliated to the United Nations, have started to use the GNSS Education Curriculum (ST/SPACE/59), as developed by the ICG and its Providers' Forum. These centres, which also serve as information centres for ICG, aim to contribute to the creation of a knowledgeable workforce, necessary for the advancement of GNSS and its applications in the regions.

            Distinguished delegates,

            Efforts to build capacity in space science and technology are considered a major focus of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, and are of specific interest to ICG with particular reference to GNSS. Thus, the Office, through its Programme on GNSS Applications, may provide a major springboard for the transfer and enhancement of skills and knowledge to nations that wished to engage in GNSS science, technology and education. These aspects of the Programme will include initiatives to foster scientific utilization of GNSS and to support education activities in the field of GNSS, in particular:

(a) Training on GNSS instrumentation for either science applications or research, requiring continuous data recording;

(b) Training on data-processing and analysis, and

(c) Education and training in GNSS science, technology and applications with processed and archived data available.

Distinguished delegates

            On behalf of the Office for Outer Space Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, I would like to wish you all successful deliberations in the coming days for implementing further the work plans of the ICG and its Providers' Forum. The Office is also looking forward to cooperate with the ICG membership in the future for the benefit of all Member States of the United Nations.

            Thank you for your attention

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