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UNOOSA Hosts UN Conference on Sustainable Lunar Activities

UNOOSA
Credit: UNOOSA

Ibadan, 20 June 2024. –  The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has hosted the first United Nations Conference on Sustainable Lunar Activities, ahead of the 67th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The Conference convened astronauts, heads of space agencies, the scientific and legal communities, and industry to address common approaches, priorities, and expectations for the peaceful, sustainable, and cooperative exploration of the Moon.

The conference addressed the various lunar missions under plans in the coming decade, ranging from potential permanent settlements to expanding commercial interests. Building upon those initial considerations, the conference consequently invited State signatories to the Artemis Accords and the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), the two major international initiatives for lunar exploration, to exchange views on the origins, goals, and ambitions of lunar programs.

The conference concluded with an interactive workshop to start discussing possible common priorities and expectations for peaceful, safe, and sustainable lunar activities. Furthermore, key takeaways from the conference were the importance of transparency, the role of interoperability, the usefulness of dedicated international platforms for consultations among stakeholders, the significance of predictability and proactiveness, the driving and unifying value of science, and the benefits that exploring and using the Moon can deliver to all humanity.

Speaking about the importance of the conference, Director of UNOOSA Aarti Holla-Maini said: “This first UN Conference on Sustainable Lunar Activities has shown that there is a growing international consensus of the need for consultation and coordination on lunar exploration. I am confident the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will also advance on these necessary activities and topics such as space resources, leveraging expert-driven consultations as a mechanism to do so.”

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