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UAE to take part in UNISPACE +50
By A Staff Reporter June 14, 2018
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ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates is set to participate in UNISPACE +50, a collocated symposium and special high-level meeting of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), being held  in Vienna from June 18 to 22. The event represents one of the most significant international space sector gatherings, and will be attended by a high-level delegation from the UAE Space Agency, with senior members giving talks and presentations on a number of  topics throughout the event.

The UAE Space Agency delegation is headed by Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, and Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, along with the Agency’s senior management team.

UNISPACE +50 marks the fiftieth anniversary since the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was held in 1968, and builds on the contributions of subsequent editions of the Conference in 1982 and 1999. Among the areas set to be discussed this year is the role of space in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Over the years, the conferences have promoted global space governance and defined the roles of public and private sector space organisations. The conference also provides a platform for the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), which will gather for its 61st session and high-level segment on June 20 and 21, before resuming its regular sessions.

The UAE Space Agency gained membership of the Committee in 2015 following a unanimous vote at the Committee’s meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi will represent the UAE during a speech at the COPOUS high-level meetings, in which he will highlight the importance of the space sector, tracing its developments over the past 50 years. He will also discuss the UAE national space sector and its support for the UNISPACE +50 objectives.

Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi will participate in a dedicated session for international space agency directors, which will focus on the  importance of international cooperation, the peaceful use of space and the role of science and technology in supporting sustainable socio-economic development around the world. Dr Al Ahbabi will also deliver a speech at a special session entitled ‘My Planet, My Future: Space and the Sustainable Development Goals’ to discuss the space sector’s role in achieving the 2030 Agenda goals, in which he will emphasise the UAE’s current activities and commitments.

Eng. Hamda Al Shehhi, part of the Space Missions Department at the UAE Space Agency, will participate in a special youth session to discuss the changing space environment and the new opportunities for societies around the world as a result of emerging technologies.

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