Press Release

United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space concludes forward-looking 60th session

By SpaceRef Editor
June 23, 2017
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The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) concluded its 60th session on Friday 16 June, after an eight-day plenary in Vienna to consider space sustainability, safety and international cooperation. The Committee was supported by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which serves as the Committee’s secretariat. The session was comprised of technical presentations, panel discussions, exchanges of views, working group meetings and consideration of ways and means to ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities.
During its session the Committee decided on the road ahead for UNISPACE+50, including details of how UNISPACE+50 will be conducted. UNISPACE+50 will be a special segment of the Committee’s 61st session in June 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It will be a unique opportunity for the international community to set the future course of global space cooperation and governance. UNOOSA is working with Member States and other entities for the preparation of this event.

The Committee also endorsed membership applications from Bahrain, Denmark and Norway, and applications for permanent observer status from the European Science Foundation and the University Space Engineering Consortium-Global (UNISEC-Global). These applications will be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly for approval. The Committee Chair, David Kendall, highlighted the rapid growth of the membership of the Committee as evidence of the increasing importance that the international community attaches to cooperation in outer space affairs.

UNOOSA organized a high-level discussion panel on “The Outer Space Treaty: 50 years — looking ahead towards 2030” to commemorate the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Treaty on 10 October. Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Yury Fedotov, opened the event, and was followed by a range of experts who shared their views on the current status and future of the Treaty and wider legal regime concerning space. The Committee also endorsed a draft General Assembly Declaration on the Outer Space Treaty.

UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo presented the work of the Office to the Committee as well as the 2016 Annual Report; both her statement and the Report are available on the UNOOSA website.

The Committee also considered the significant role of space science and technology applications, as well as space-derived data and information, in the implementation of the three global development frameworks adopted by the international community in 2015: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17Sustainable Development Goals; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Lastly, the Committee noted the Dubai Declaration that emerged from the High Level Forum 2016, and endorsed increased engagement by UNOOSA with the private sector.

The report of the Committee will be presented for approval to the United Nations General Assembly’s 72nd session later in the year.

The Committee meets every year at the Vienna International Centre to consider and enhance international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. To obtain session documents, including reports, agendas, journals, presentations and digital recordings in all United Nations official languages, please visit

For further information, please contact:

Daria Brankin
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
Telephone: (+43-1) 2660 8718
Email: daria.brankin[at]

United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS Vienna)
P.O.Box 500
1400 Vienna
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4666
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-7-5899

SpaceRef staff editor.