CLOSING STATEMENT

BY DIRECTOR OFFICE FOR OUTER SPACE AFFAIRS

United Nations/United Arab Emirates High Level Forum

"Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development"

24 November 2016

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Excellencies,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to make these closing remarks at our High Level Forum on space as a driver for socio-economic development. It is a great honour to have today for the Closing Ceremony Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency. I am delighted that United Arabs Emirates hosted this key forum for the Office and for the international space community only one year after it officially became a member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. I would also like to extend a big thanks to your staff for making this event successful.

I would also like to express my appreciation for the excellent job the staff of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre has done in organizing this Forum. Their work certainly ensured that the Forum produced highly useful results. And a big thank you also to all my fellow colleagues in the audience, who have joined us for this intense week of work.

I am also very grateful for the technical contributions and financial support that have been provided by our co-sponsors Secure World Foundation, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems and the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems. I would also like to recognise the support to be provided by DigitalGlobe and the People's Insurance Company of China to the Office towards UNISPACE+50.

Distinguished Delegates,

This High Level Forum has been recognized as unique several times in the last few days and, given the rapidly evolving nature of the space arena, this only underlines the importance of coming together during such an important event to elaborate recommendations for harnessing space technology and applications for socio-economic development.

This High Level Forum will prove invaluable in the coming years as we all prepare and embark together towards 2018, when UNISPACE +50 will take place marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

This platform has been designed to collect inputs from the broader space community, and furthermore to connect the international community with private entities and non-governmental organisations.

Working with all relevant stakeholders, the four pillars Space Economy, Space Society, Space Accessibility, and Space Diplomacy offered us the appropriate tools to address long-term development concerns, and will allow us to better shape the Space2030 strategy.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Here, in Dubai, together we have produced a declaration with a set of recommendations to address key developments both within the space sector and outside, including the fusion of new technologies and new business models that impact outer space activities. This Declaration and what we have learned at this Forum have provided us with an understanding of how we should move forward in utilizing space for development, on the need to get open access to space for an increasing number of countries and in assisting States to attain the sustainable development goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In concluding, let me once again sincerely thank the United Arab Emirates Space Agency for organizing and hosting this High Level Forum, as well as all of you for your contributions, enthusiasm and support. Allow me also to thank the Office for Outer Space Affairs team members for their effort, which allowed this event to become possible.

Thank you very much.

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