United Nations/ Turkey/ APSCO Conference on Space Law and Policy

Hosted by the Government of Turkey

Co-organized by the TUBITAK Space Technologies Research Institute, the Turkish Space Agency and Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization

Istanbul, Turkey, 23 - 26 September 2019


  • Update 22 April: Report of the Conference (A/AC.105/1222)
  • Update 29 October: Presentations
  • Update13 September: Final Programme
  • Update 9 September: Information on Special Events
  • Update 9 September: Fact Sheet for self-funded participants
  • Update 5 September: Update on Draft Programme
  • Update 30 August: Draft Programme
  • Update 30 July: Registration page closed
  • Update 7 June: Deadline closed for funded participants. For self-self funded participants registration is open until 30 July.
  • Update 16 May: Information note 
  • Update 27 April: Registration page open


The Office for Outer Space Affairs has been organizing a long-standing series of capacity-building workshops on space law and policy where 10 workshops have been successfully held since 2002 in cooperation with the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Nigeria, Ukraine, Islamic Republic of Iran, Thailand, Argentina, China, and at the UN premises in Vienna.

Building upon this series of workshops, last year the Office moved on to a new phase in its capacity-building efforts, by a new series of dedicated United Nations Conferences on Space Law and Policy. This year United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs together with the Government of Turkey, TUBITAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TUBITAK UZAY), Turkish Space Agency, and Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) will be holding a second Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, from 23 to 26 September 2019.

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 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

Coming soon!


The Conference will be structured by discussions in the following topics. In addition, renowned experts in the field will be invited as speakers. The Conference will mainly comprise presentations followed by questions and answers.

The following topics will be considered in dedicated sessions:

  • Promoting responsible, peaceful and safe use of outer space
  • Long-term sustainability of outer space activities
  • Legal regime of outer space and global governance
  • National legal and policy frameworks related to outer space activities
  • Best practices in sharing remote sensing data to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Strengthening capacity-building in space law and policy

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

Optional Sight-seeingTour

An optional sightseeing tour will be scheduled to cover the main cultural and historical landmarks of Istanbul. In order to participate in this tour a scanned copy of the participant's passport shall be submitted, after receiving the official invitation letter to the event.

More details to come in the following weeks!

Social Events

Conference opening day: evening reception

Conference second day: evening welcome dinner/reception

Location and Date

Dates: The Conference will be held from 23 to 26 September 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. Invited participants will receive a formal invitation letter with further information on available accommodation, logistics and other local arrangements prior to the Conference.

Venue: İstanbul Technical University (ITU) Ayazağa Campus, Süleyman Demirel Cultural and Convention Center

Language of the Conference

The working language of the Conference will be English.


The Conference is being planned for a total of 200 participants including decision- and policy-makers from national space agencies and governmental bodies, experts of 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 Istanbul, Turkey) and/ or room and board expenses for the duration of the Conference. Due to the limited availability of financial support, not all applicants 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.

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.

Deadline for Submission of Applications

Applications for participating in the Conference have to be submitted online through this webpage (see the top of page).

The completed application form together with the presentation abstract should be submitted on-line to the Office for Outer Space Affairs, no later than  7 JUNE 2019 from applicants seeking funding support and no later than 30 July 2019 from self-funded applicants. Only complete applications received before these deadlines will be considered.

*Please note that in order to visit Turkey, 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.


For questions related to the Conference programme and participation opportunities, please contact us.

For questions related to visa and the local logistics, please contact the local organizers mentioned in the information note.

For latest information and updates on the Conference, it is advised that you frequently visit this webpage.

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