2024 United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy

Vienna International Centre, Austria

19-21 November 2024

 

Registration for the Conference is open! Submit your application HERE.

 Updates:

  • Update 18 June: Online registration open

Introduction

The Office for Outer Space Affairs has been organizing a long-standing series of capacity-building organizing over 15 workshops and conferences on space law and policy. Due to the pandemic the Office has been organizing these events virtually. This year the Office will move back to the traditional style of having it held as an in-person event from 19 to 21 November in Vienna, Austria.

International and regional cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space helps to bring the benefits of space technology applications to a wide circle of stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, and to intensify and diversify national space programmes. Policy and regulatory frameworks at the national, regional and international levels are of paramount importance for providing the necessary basis for States, particularly developing countries, to meet development goals and address challenges to sustainable development. In this connection, it is necessary to continue to strengthen the linkages between international space law and the conduct of space activities.

Each year, in its resolutions on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, the General Assembly reaffirms the importance of international cooperation in developing the rule of international law, including the relevant norms of international space law and their important role in international cooperation for the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and of the widest possible adherence to international treaties that promote the peaceful uses of outer space in order to meet emerging new challenges, especially for developing countries. The Assembly recognizes that all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, should contribute actively to the prevention of an arms race in outer space with a view to promoting and strengthening international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

In today's world, where the number of actors that engage in space activities increases every day, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that all actors comply with the requirements of international space law in developing international and regional space cooperation.

The successful implementation and application of the international legal framework governing space activities depend on the understanding and acceptance of that framework by policymakers and decision makers. The availability of professionals who can provide suitable legal advice and disseminate information and knowledge about space law, in particular in developing countries, depends on the availability of adequate education opportunities in space law and policy.

This Conference will be held in order to promote adherence to the five United Nations treaties on outer space and to assist States in implementing those treaties as well as building their capacity in space law, and thus help them to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Conference Objectives

The objectives of the Conference will be to:
  1. Promote understanding, acceptance and implementation of the United Nations treaties and principles on outer space;
  2. Promote the  exchange of information on national space legislation and policies for the benefit of professionals involved in national space activities;
  3. Consider the contribution of space law to economic and social development, and the use of space-derived geospatial data for sustainable development;
  4. Consider trends in and challenges to international space law;
  5. Consider mechanisms for increasing regional and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space;
  6. Consider the development of university-level studies and programmes in space law, with a view to promoting national expertise and capacity in this field; and
  7. Discuss novel areas in which international space law could provide potential legal models to balance divergent interests of States.

Preliminary Programme

The Conference will provide an overview of the legal regime governing the peaceful uses of outer space, address transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities, examine and compare various contemporary legal issues arising from the technology advancement, and discuss different aspects of space law and policy. The following thematic sessions will be held:

  1. Promoting peaceful use of outer space and maintaining sustainability of outer space activities
  2. Dark and Quiet Skies and legal framework
  3. International Responsibility, Authorization and Continuous Supervision
  4. Information sharing to the Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as public and the international scientific community
  5. Novel legal and policy topics on space activities
  6. Legal Aspects of Safety of space operation
    • Authorization and continuous supervision of national space activities
    • Debris mitigation and remediation
    • Operational safety & environmental impact
  7. Panel on UN-Space

Working Methods

The Conference will mainly comprise presentations followed by questions and answers. Applicants are expected to submit an abstract on the topics of the Conference in English, with a maximum of 400 words. Please note that changes to the presentations may be requested by Moderators to facilitate discussions.

The presentations made at the Conference will be published on the website of the Office for Outer Space Affairs ( wwwn.unooosa.org) after the Conference.

The Conference will be held purely in-person. No hybrid options is available for this Conference.

Participants

The Conference is being planned for a total of 200 participants including decision- and policy-makers from national space agencies and governmental bodies, experts from the space community, private sector representatives, researchers/students from academia that are involved in space activities, representing developing and developed nations from all economic regions.

The Office seeks to achieve the balanced participation of women and men to ensure gender parity.

Financial Support

Within the limited financial resources available, a limited number of selected participants will be offered financial support to attend the Conference. This financial support will defray the cost of travel (a round trip air ticket - most economic fare - between the airport of international departure in their home country and Vienna, Austria) and/or room and board expenses for the duration of the Conference.

Due to limited availability of financial support, not all applications for travel support can be accommodated. In this respect, applicants and their nominating organizations are strongly encouraged to also identify additional sources of sponsorship to allow them to attend the Conference. Sponsored participants will receive detailed information upon notification of their selection.

Language of the Conference

The working language of the Conference will be English.

Deadline for Submission of Applications and Abstracts

The completed application form together with the presentation abstract should be submitted on-line to the Office for Outer Space Affairs, no later than 30 August 2024 from applicants seeking funding support and no later than 30 September 2024 from self-funded applicants. Only complete applications received before these deadlines will be considered. Please note that on-line application for is available on the website of the Office for Outer Space Affairs at the following address:

  APPLICATION FORM

*Please note that in order to visit Austria, foreigners, depending on their nationality, may have to obtain an entry visa. All visa applicants are required to possess a passport valid not less than 6 months after visa expiration. In addition, passports of the applicants should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.

Life and Health Insurance

Life and major health insurance is the responsibility of each selected participants or his/her institution or government. The organizers will not assume any responsibility for life and major health insurance, nor for expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.

Medical facilities for first aid in case of emergencies will be provided at the Conference venues; for serious emergencies, immediate transportation and admission to a hospital shall be provided, with the understanding that all participants of the Conference possess valid individual insurances.

Further Information and Contact Details

For information regarding the submission of nominations for attendance and funding, please contact

Ms. Yukiko Okumura

Office for Outer Space Affairs

unoosa-spacelaw@un.org

For latest information and updates, please frequently visit this webpage.

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