Press Release

United Nations Holds Space Law Workshop in Nigeria

By SpaceRef Editor
November 18, 2005
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VIENNA, 18 November (UN Information Service) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is organizing a four-day Workshop on Space Law: “Meeting international responsibilities and addressing domestic needs”. The Workshop is being co-organized and hosted by the Government of Nigeria, and will be held in Abuja, Nigeria, 21 – 24 November 2005. It is the fourth in a series of workshops organized by OOSA that aim at building capacity in space law.

Given the growing number of benefits derived from the use of space applications, the conduct of space activities by States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as the private sector, continues to expand. These advances, together with the emphasis placed by the UN General Assembly and the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the importance of the UN treaties and principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, have made the development of space law and policy a priority for a growing number of countries.

The successful implementation and application of the international legal framework governing space activities depends on the understanding and acceptance, by policy and decision makers, of the UN treaties and principles on outer space. The development of space law and policy in a country relies on the presence of suitable professionals able to disseminate information and knowledge on the existing legal framework governing activities in outer space. The availability of such professionals is determined by the availability of educational opportunities and institutions that address the subject of space law and policy.

The main objectives of the Workshop are: (a) to promote understanding, acceptance and implementation of the UN treaties and principles on outer space; (b) to promote an exchange of information on national space laws and policies, for the benefit of professionals involved in the development and implementation of those policies; and (c) to consider development of university level studies and programmes in space law, with a view to promoting national expertise and capability in this field.

The Workshop will include presentations and discussions on the following topics: the UN treaties and principles on outer space; national space laws, policies and institutions; other space-related legal issues; and ways and means of enhancing education opportunities in space law.

Over 60 participants, including policy and decision makers, from the following countries and international organizations are expected to attend the workshop: Algeria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Finland, France, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, United States, Zimbabwe and OOSA.

The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at

For information contact:
Armanda Deli
Associate Expert, OOSA
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 4271

United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS)
P.O.Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: +43 1 260 60 – 3430; Fax: +43 1 260 60 7 5899

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SpaceRef staff editor.