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UAE’s MBRSC To Host UNOOSA High Level Forum On Space Sustainability

Participants of the 2016 UAE-UNOOSA High-Level Forum in Dubai. Photograph courtesy of the Dubai Government Media Office.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will host the United Nations/United Arab Emirates High Level Forum: “Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development,” which will be jointly organised by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, held from November 6 to 9, 2017, in Dubai at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

This Forum will be the second of three preliminary high level fora for UNISPACE+50, which will contribute to “UNISPACE+50,” to be held in Vienna in June 2018, that will mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Under UNOOSA’s leadership, the first high level fora that was organised last year delivered “Dubai Declaration,” which urges all parties to further utilise the space sector as a driver for economic and social development, emphasising that strengthening socio-economic development will require an integrated approach among the space industry and other sectors to understand and meet the needs of users and the society at large.

The Dubai Declaration recommendations emphasise the need for building stronger international cooperation and coordination in the peaceful uses of outer space at all levels, and the need for broadening access to space. The declaration also asserts that space exploration is a long term driver for innovation and strengthening international cooperation on an all-inclusive basis and creating new opportunities for addressing global challenges. It also affirmed the need to strengthen youth and women’s involvement in the space industry. In addition to that, the Forum’s participants declared that space economy, space society, space accessibility, and space diplomacy constitute the main pillars of Space 2030 – the global space agenda that will emerge from UNISPACE+50.

H.E. Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said, “Hosting the UN-UAE High Level Forum leading up to the 50th anniversary of the First United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space “UNISPACE+50″ in Dubai is a recognition of the importance of the UAE’s national space programme and its vision and plans for the space industry. It is also an acknowledgment of the success of our efforts in developing our relations with international bodies and organisations, especially with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.”

“The results of these forums will play an essential role in shaping the future trends of the space sector on a global level, and hosting the forums in the UAE will allow us to be an integral part of these international efforts to emphasise the importance of space as a driver for socio-economic sustainable development,” added Dr. Al Ahbabi.

H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said, “Hosting this international forum in the United Arab Emirates for the second time strengthens the country’s pioneer position in the global space industry. United Nations/United Arab Emirates – High Level Forum will deliver recommendations leading to a sustainable growth of all aspects of space development. The international space community shares this vision aiming to respond to the future needs of the sector.”

Al Shaibani stressed that, “development of space exploration and peaceful use of outer space has countless social and economic benefits for humanity.” He pointed out that the, “Dubai Declaration holds various perspectives and creates new opportunities that fosters integrated directions and practices which support the sustainability of the space sector.”

“The UAE has taken solid steps in developing, regulating and reinforcing space industry, research and technology, in accordance to an aspiring strategy relying on building capabilities, establishing world-class infrastructure and launching space programmes which further actuates international cooperation and serve mankind,” Al Shaibani concluded.

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