Press Release

Outer Space Legal Subcommittee Concludes 50th Session in Vienna

By SpaceRef Editor
April 8, 2011
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Outer Space Legal Subcommittee Concludes 50th Session in Vienna

VIENNA, 8 April (UN Information Service) – Capacity-building in space law, the status and application of the five United Nations treaties on outer space, and the definition and delimitation of outer space were some of the main topics discussed at the commemorative 50th session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) that concluded today at the Vienna International Centre.

The Subcommittee highlighted the commemorations in 2011 of the 50th anniversary of human space flight and the 50th anniversary of COPUOS. The General Assembly resolution A/RES/65/271 of 7 April declared 12 April, the day of the first manned space flight, as the International Day of Human Space Flight. In conjunction with the Subcommittee’s session, an exhibition to mark this anniversary of the first man in space opened in the Rotunda, Vienna International Centre on 4 April.

The Subcommittee also agreed on the text of a draft “Declaration on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Human Space Flight and the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, to be presented for adoption on 1 June 2011, at the commemorative segment of the 54th session of COPUOS. Other topics of discussion included information on national legislation relevant to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, use of nuclear power sources in outer space, information on national mechanisms relating to space debris mitigation measures, draft protocol on matters specific to space assets to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, and matters relating to the character and use of the geostationary orbit. International intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations were also invited to report on their activities relating to space law.

UNOOSA also presented Draft Educational Curriculum on Space Law, to be used by the Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education, affiliated to the United Nations. As capacity-building, training and education in space law are of great importance to further develop the practical aspects of space science and technology, the Subcommittee plays an important role in this regard in promoting cooperation with, and assistance to, developing countries in building their capacity in space law. The four Regional Centres that were established through UNOOSA in Africa (Morocco, Nigeria), Asia and the Pacific (India), and Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil and Mexico), aim at developing, through in-depth education, an indigenous capability for research and applications of space technology.

For further information contact:
Romana Kofler
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962

SpaceRef staff editor.