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The Dubai Declaration on Outer Space

Dr. Michael Simpson, Executive Director of Secure World Foundation (left); Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (centre); and Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al-Ahbabi, Director-General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, in Dubai upon the drafting of the Dubai Declaration on 24 November 2016.
Dr. Michael Simpson, Executive Director of Secure World Foundation (left); Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (centre); and Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al-Ahbabi, Director-General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, in Dubai upon the drafting of the Dubai Declaration on 24 November 2016.

Earlier this week, SpaceWatch Middle East published an Op-Ed by Dr. Michael Simpson, Executive-Director of Secure World Foundation, who wrote about the significance of the Dubai Declaration released in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 24 November 2016. Today, SpaceWatch Middle East publishes the Dubai Declaration in its entirety.

Adopted at the first High Level Forum: Space as a driver for socio-economic sustainable development, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 24 November 2016

Expressing their appreciation to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Government of the United Arab Emirates for having organized the Forum, with the support of the Secure World Foundation, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems and the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems,

Noting with appreciation the designation of former astronaut Scott Kelly as United Nations Champion for Space, who will work with the Office for Outer Space Affairs in promoting space as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals,

Noting with satisfaction the inclusion of the Women in Space Breakfast and Networking as a special event of the Forum,

Noting with interest the national declaration of the United Arab Emirates on happiness and positivity, following General Assembly resolution 65/309 on “Happiness towards a holistic approach to development”, where the use of space science and technology has much to offer in achieving those goals, and how this was taken into account in the development of its national space policy,

Reaffirming that space activities are constantly evolving and becoming more multifaceted considering the remarkable scientific and technological advancements in the space field, and in view of the broader perspective of space security,

Emphasizing, in that regard, that the Forum represented a unique opportunity for the broader space community to address key developments linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is characterised by the fusion of new technologies and new business models that impact and benefit from outer space activities,

The participants to the Forum:

  1. Declare the following four High Level Forum pillars as constituting an inclusive global Space2030 agenda for exploration, innovation and inspiration that calls for strengthened cooperation and governance of outer space activities:
  • Space economy – the development of space-derived economic benefits;
  • Space society – the evolution of society and societal benefits stemming from space- related activities;
  • Space accessibility – all communities using and benefiting from space technology and applications;
  • Space diplomacy – building partnerships and strengthening international cooperation in space activities.
  1. Agree that UNISPACE+50 is a milestone opportunity to further demonstrate the broad societal benefits of space as an area of innovation, inspiration, interconnectedness, integration and investment, and to strengthen unified efforts at all levels and among all relevant stakeholders of the space sector in addressing the overarching long-term development concerns of society with concrete deliverables pertaining to space for development;
  2. Recognize the need to strengthen the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in its unique position as the prime intergovernmental platform for international space cooperation and the negotiation of instruments pertaining to space activities, and work towards further increasing its membership;
  3. Emphasize the need for building stronger partnerships and international cooperation and coordination in the peaceful uses of outer space at all levels, in order to demonstrate the utility of space for the well-being of all peoples and its decisive role as a facilitator for the attainment of the global development agendas, taking into account the importance of securing appropriate financing to enable an innovative, open space economy;
  4. Recognize the need for broadening access to space and, in that regard, call upon the Office for Outer Space Affairs to devise a dedicated programme within the framework of UNISPACE+50;
  5. Assert that space exploration is a long-term driver for innovation, strengthening international cooperation on an all-inclusive basis among nations, and creating new opportunities for addressing global challenges, and that this area could benefit from establishing an exploration and innovation coordination mechanism at the global level, building on the model of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems;
  6. Emphasize that, in order to strengthen socio-economic development, an integrated approach is required among the space sector and other sectors, including environment and climate change, health, water, information and communication technology, and management of resources, to better understand and meet the needs of end-users and society at large;
  7. Stress the importance of full and open access to space-derived data, including through promoting more flexible data licencing terms and partnerships for the development of open online search engines, towards increased discovery and use of data, information, products and services, and call upon the Office for Outer Space Affairs to facilitate such open access to data;
  8. Observe the need for increased compatibility, standardization and integration of space systems and note with interest initiatives of inter-agency coordination of constellations of Earth observation, global navigation satellite systems and satellite telecommunications that encourage further demand-driven global coordination, and emphasize the importance of better spectrum planning, allocation, and management as key enablers to space programmes;
  9. Note the stronger interconnectedness between actions to enhance the safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities, including the protection of space assets, space systems and critical infrastructures;
  10. Reaffirm that the Outer Space Treaty, together with other relevant treaties and instruments, lays down the foundations of international regulation of space activities, and note that the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty in 2017 would provide an opportunity to promote universality of the Treaty and manifest the fundamental role of the legal regime of outer space for strengthening global governance of outer space activities;
  11. Note that the increase in commercial and private activities in the space sector generates demands for regulatory certainty at the national level to meet the needs of new actors and beneficiaries of spacefaring nations, space middle powers and emerging space nations;
  12. Recognize the importance for States to develop space policies and regulatory frameworks at the national level in accordance with their needs and conforming to international space law, and that, in this regard, capacity-building and technical legal assistance are essential;
  13. Emphasize the need for strengthened involvement of youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and increased participation of women in space activities;
  14. Underscore the need to modernize and reinforce the overall mandate and structure of the Office for Outer Space Affairs to better position the Office to assist States in using space for sustainable development, strengthen the Office’s role in disaster management and emergency response and its capacity-building, outreach and awareness-raising efforts, including integrated legal and technical assistance, and reinforce the Office’s spaceflight portfolio to allow broad access to space for achieving sustainable development goals, in particular for the benefit of developing countries;
  15. Emphasize the importance for the Office for Outer Space Affairs to strengthen its cooperation with industry and the private sector to be able to deliver its mandates as the unique United Nations entity in space affairs and to assist States to attain the sustainable development goals;
  16. Observe the need for more coordination efforts among non-governmental organizations and the private sector to facilitate dialogue with more user communities and other entities, and increased synergies in their interaction with the Office for Outer Space Affairs and with the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, as appropriate;
  17. Agree that the Forum serves as a driver for exchange to promote dialogue between governments, international organizations, industry, the private sector, academia and civil society, to connect the four pillars, UNISPACE+50 and Space2030, and to facilitate partnerships with the Office for Outer Space Affairs;
  18. Agree that the Forum becomes a permanent platform for strengthened partnerships among all relevant stakeholders in working towards Space2030;
  19. Request that the Office for Outer Space Affairs present this Declaration to the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 2017.

Original published at: http://spacewatchme.com/2016/12/dubai-declaration-outer-space/

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