Status Report

United Nations CONGO Forum on Civil Society and Outer Space

By SpaceRef Editor
September 17, 2007
Filed under ,

On 8/9 October 2007 the Vienna Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO) office will organize a Forum on Civil Society and Outer Space, with emphasis on where we stand in terms of using outer space for peaceful purposes.

The Forum will seek to broaden the knowledge of civil society about the peaceful use of outer space, encompassing the many applications that have a direct beneficial bearing on socio-economic development.

It is hoped that the Forum will contribute to the broader use of those applications and greater recognition of their developmental impact. Over the past 50 years, space applications have experienced major growth, affecting the lives of millions of people across the world. For example, forecasting the weather is inconceivable without satellites. This, in turn, bears direct consequences for agriculture, be it forecasting crop yields, forest management, or adversely, forest delectation. Satellites also ensure safety of road, sea and air traffic.

They have become invaluable tools in facilitating the management of land, monitoring coastal and urban areas, maintaining surveillance of fragile ecosystems, contributing to the prevention of disasters and monitoring treaty compliance. Promising new areas encompass tele-education, tele-medicine and search-and-rescue operations. The Forum will also offer participants an overview of the various ecological, legal and security issues related to the use of outer space. In particular, it will bring participants up to date on efforts to identify and track space debris that poses a threat to satellites and other space control measures.

The Forum will be held solely in English. There will be no interpretation into languages. The funds available to the organizers are very limited. Financial support is thus strictly restricted to offsetting a portion of the travel and hotel costs for a limited number of participants only. Applications for such funds will be carefully assessed and a final selection made prior to the Forum .It should be noted that those participants ultimately selected to receive financial support will be reimbursed during the Forum itself.

Reimbursement is contingent upon the organisers of the Forum being provided with copies of the air tickets and/or hotel bills. Given the limited funds available, the maximum support per person or group will be 500 Euro.

Participants are responsible for obtaining their own visas (if needed) and making their own travel and accommodation arrangements. For want of staff, the organisers are unable to assist in those matters. Information about the Forum can also be downloaded from .

SpaceRef staff editor.