UN Fourth Committee Underscores the Value of Shared Space Technologies as a Disaster Management Tool

15 October 2008: The UN Fourth Committee (Special Political

and Decolonization) concluded its general debate on international cooperation

in the peaceful uses of outer space with a broad agreement on the value of

shared space technologies as a tool for sustainable development and disaster


Agreeing that outer space should be exploited only for peaceful

purposes, Fiji's delegate said space-based technologies could be used to

address the negative effects of global warming. He added that significant

socio-economic benefits could be derived from those technologies, but stressed

the urgent need to enhance capacity-building so that developing countries could

exploit the available data.

Japan's speaker indicated that it planned to launch

a greenhouse gas satellite, which would, through the data it gathered,

contribute to policy options for global warming. He added that Japan would use

this and other remote sensing technologies to help other countries that lacked

such capabilities. Various speakers praised the work of the UN Platform for

Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response

(UN-SPIDER). [UN Press Release]