The Office is headed by a Director and has two sections: the Space Applications Section, which organizes and carries out the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and the Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section, which provides substantive secretariat services to the Committee, its two subcommittees and its working groups. The Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section also prepares and distributes reports and publications on international space activities and on international space law.
Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo of Italy serves as Director of the Office since March 2014.
As part of UNOOSA efforts to support the intergovernmental processes in the area of space activities that take place within the United Nations framework, the Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section of UNOOSA provides substantive secretariat services to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Legal Subcommittee and related working groups.
CPLA also provides substantive secretariat services to the Working Group of the Whole of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly when it considers the item on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
As UNOOSA leads UN-Space (the Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities), CPLA convenes and services the sessions of UN-Space.
Comprising staff with legal, policy and economics background, the CPLA team works closely with UN Member States in supporting their capacity building efforts in space activities and in building national space infrastructure, by organizing workshops on space law and policy, as well as on organizational questions relating to international cooperation in space activities and on United Nations space-related activities. CPLA also works with other actors, such as regional organizations and mechanisms, in support of their efforts and cooperation in space activities.
Mr. Niklas Hedman of Sweden serves as Chief of the Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section since January 2006.
As a result of the shifting emphasis from scientific exploration of outer space to the practical applications of space technology, the Office has been increasingly involved in implementing decisions of the Committee and its subsidiary bodies related to the promotion of international cooperation in the uses of space technology for economic and social development. Beginning with the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE) in 1968, the Office has carried out programmes designed to disseminate information and provide training in the practical applications of space technology, in particular for developing countries.
After the Second Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE 82) in 1982, the General Assembly, in its resolution 37/90 of 10 December 1982, expanded the mandate of the Programme on Space Applications to include promoting the development of indigenous capabilities in the developing countries.
Since its inception in 1971, the Programme has organized, among other activities, over 150 training courses, workshops and conferences attended by more than 7,500 participants.
Mr. Luc St-Pierre serves as Chief of the Space Applications Section.