Delivering as One in Space-related Activities
Delivering as one in space-related activities was one of the main issues discussed during the 28th session of the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities, held from 16-18 January 2008 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mazlan Othman, the newly appointed Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) – the Secretariat and coordinator of the Inter-Agency Meeting – said “space technology can help predict an area's agricultural output well in advance in regions of the world where people still go hungry, thereby contributing to another important development goal - food security. And with global warming and climate change, one of the major challenges to our future generations, space technology has become a crucial tool to collect critical land, ocean and atmospheric data.”
The meeting welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), a bridge between UN entities and space communities, and a tangible case of inter-agency cooperation in disaster relief. The meeting also identified the following key issues for inter-agency coordination: reinforcing the contributions made by UN entities to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO); and preparing a report on the use of space technology for sustainable development in Africa, to be presented to the third African Leadership Conference on Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in 2009.