For information only - not an official document

22 November 2017

United Nations/Germany Conference on International Cooperation Towards Low-Emission and Resilient Societies opens at UN Campus in Bonn

VIENNA/BONN, 22 November (United Nations Information Service) - More than 80 experts and participants from over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, among them high-level representatives of the United Nations, are convening in Bonn this week to consider how space technology can help make societies more environmentally-friendly and more resilient to challenges such as disasters and climate change. The United Nations/Germany International Conference on International Cooperation Towards Low-Emission and Resilient Societies will take place from 22 to 24 November 2017 in the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany. The event is organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Reducing disaster risk, protecting our climate, strengthening resilience and fostering sustainable development are key global challenges for the 21st century. They are at the core of three important international agreements adopted in 2015: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Space-based technology and applications have significant potential to facilitate the implementation of these agendas at the international, regional and national levels.

This conference aims to define synergies between climate change efforts, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development worldwide. Participants will also outline some elements for the road map for enhanced resiliency of space-based systems and the affiliation of existing and future space-based constellations for disaster risk reduction and climate change monitoring and mitigation.

The United Nations/Germany International Conference on International Cooperation towards Low-Emission and Resilient Societies is one of a series of flagship events and activities to prepare for UNISPACE+50, the first United Nations global space summit of the twenty-first century in June 2018.  At UNISPACE+50, the international community will pave the way for the future of international cooperation in space activities, for the benefit of all humankind, through a joint vision known as Space2030. Space2030 will particularly focus on how space and its benefits can contribute to sustainable development for everyone, everywhere. This conference will provide recommendations to be incorporated into Space2030 and its plan of action.

"Space science, technology and applications can make a significant contribution to our joint efforts to address some of the most serious global challenges that we face, such as climate change and disasters. A number of experts will be presenting their ideas and experiences this week, and I look forward to receiving their valued recommendations for Space2030. These inputs will also be useful as we develop our Global Space Partnership for the Sustainable Development Goals, a comprehensive coordination mechanism for facilitating the best use of space assets for development objectives, such as monitoring climate variables, and for fostering partnerships to develop innovative systems and solutions," said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo.

"A crucial point for us is the question of how existing and future constellations of Earth observation satellites can be used to implement the UN climate targets. The main framework for this is provided by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement," said Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board, at the opening of the conference. She added: "Strengthening international efforts and cooperation on phenomena such as climate change and natural disasters is essential. In the field of disaster management as well as in the provision of information to clarify climate-relevant issues, only close cooperation with international mechanisms such as UN-SPIDER, the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" or the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is successful."

This week's conference also constitutes the high point of a two-year-long process conducted by UNOOSA's Programme on Space Applications, and its UN Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), in 2016 and 2017. The aim of this process has been to compile policy-relevant recommendations on ways to enhance the combined and complementary use of Earth observation, global navigation satellite systems, telecommunication constellations and ground-based systems to generate precise geospatial information.

Further Information on the United Nations/Germany International Conference on International Cooperation Towards Low-Emission and Resilient Societies:

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For further information, please contact:

Radu Botez 
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)/UN-SPIDER
Telephone: (+49) 228 815 0677
Email: radu.botez[at]

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