United Nations Introductory Technical Advisory Mission 

Space law for new space actors:

Fostering responsible national space activities in the African Region

7 December 2020

Online event

Updates: 

  • Update  4 December: Programme uploaded
  • Registration open extended till 3 December 2020
  • Update 18 November: Link to the Conference on Space Law and Policy held back to back with the Introductory Technical Advisory Mission
  • Registration open till 22 November 2020
  • Update 20 October: page open

Introduction

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2017, the UN Outer Space Treaty (OST) serves as the foundation of international space law. Since the OST, governments have agreed, through the UN, a growing list of treaties, principals and guidelines that, collectively, constitute the normative framework governing activities in outer space. This framework has been instrumental in sustaining over half a century of exponential growth in space activities and the global space economy.

Today, stakeholders around the world are accessing the space environment and investing their political and economic capital in space. For the African region, this is especially true, with a range of established, emerging and new space actors across the region. With an increasing number of African countries becoming interested in the space environment and the social and economic benefits of activities in space, now is the time for outreach on the subject of international space law.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), as the UN's home of space, works with stakeholders across the legal, policy and capacity building aspects of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. In this context, UNOOSA proposes, through its legal services team, to deliver space law capacity-building and advisory services, targeted and tailored to the needs of regulatory authorities of emerging space-faring nations. Such programmatic activities will facilitate emerging space faring nations to draft national space law and/or national space policy, in line with international space law. Furthermore, the project will contribute to raising global adherence to- and awareness of- the existing international and legal instruments on outer space, for the benefit of established and emerging space faring nations alike.

UNOOSA with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), will organize an Introductory Technical Advisory Mission to convene emerging African space actors and to contribute to capacity-development in the field of space law and policy.

The Introductory Technical Advisory Mission will be followed by a two day online United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy (8-10 December 2020) to in order to promote adherence to the five United Nations treaties on outer space and to assist States in building their capacity in space law and examine and compare various contemporary legal issues arising from the technology advancement. It is expected that the participants of the Introductory Technical Advisory Mission will also attend the Conference and benefit from these expanded capacity building opportunity.

Introductory Technical Advisory Mission Objectives

The Introductory Technical Advisory Mission:

  1. Raise regional awareness of the fundamental principles of international space law.
  2. Support the universalization, adherence and implementation of the normative framework, including in key areas such as the registration of objects launched into outer space, amongst emerging space faring nations in the African region.

Preliminary Programme

Please click here to see the programme!

 

The Basic Technical Advisory Mission will provide an overview of the fundamental legal regime governing the peaceful uses of outer space, address the importance of national space law and policy, and conduct interactive session to identify key factors to draft national space law and policy.

The following thematic sessions will be held:

  • Benefits derived from Space Activities
  • Fundamental Principles of International Space Law
  • Bringing Space Law and Policy into the National Context
  • Sharing Best Practices on National Space Law and Policy

Kindly note that the organizers may modify the number and themes of sessions of the final programme.

Working Methods

The introductory technical advisory mission will comprise presentations followed by questions and answers. After the introductory technical advisory mission participants are asked to complete mandatory e-Learning courses in which participants will receive a certificate of completion. Participants who are nominated by their government are expected to submit replies to the questionnaire on the current situation of their countries' space activities and space law/policy, discussing with their government after the introductory technical advisory mission. 

Targeted Audience and Expected participants

The introductory technical advisory mission is being planned for a total of 60 participants from African countries including legislators and policy-makers nominated by their government. Participants to the technical advisory mission are requested to also attend the Space Law Conference (8-10 December) held back-to-back later the same week.

The Office is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its programs and ensuring a balanced representation from different perspectives. Women are encouraged to apply.

For more details on the United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy please visit the dedicated webpage (coming soon)!

Dates and Platform

The date of the introductory technical advisory mission is 7 December 2020. The event will take place online via Microsoft Teams.

Language of the Technical Advisory Mission

The working language of the Introductory Technical Advisory Mission will be English.

Deadline for Submission of Applications

The completed application form together with the letter from the Permanent Mission in Vienna or New York should be submitted on-line to the Office for Outer Space Affairs ( unoosa-spacelaw@un.org), no later than 3 December 2020. Only complete applications received before these deadlines will be considered. Please find the application attached to this document as Annex I. The word version of Annex I can be found from this link.

Due to the limitation of participants, please note that each government is kindly requested to nominate no more than two applicants.

 

*Please note that on-line application for the Conference is separately necessary to those also nominated by their government to attend the Introductory Technical Advisory Mission. Please also note that, when we reach the maximum number of participants, priority will be given to those who have registered to attend both events, as the TAM and the Conference will be a back-to-back event. Please find the on-line application form for the United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy at the following address!

 

 

Project Focal Point

  • Yukiko Okumura

Associate Space Law Officer, Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section, UNOOSA

Email inquiries on the project to  unoosa-spacelaw@un.org

For the latest information and updates on the Introductory Technical Advisory Mission, it is advised that you frequently visit this webpage.

Sponsors

The Space Law for New Space Actors project is a multi-donor project funded by voluntary contributions.

This activity is made possible through the generous support of the following stakeholders:

  • The Government of Luxembourg - please see UNOOSA/Luxembourg press release and video for further details.
  • Secure World Foundation.
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