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"Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development"

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has hosted the United Nations/United Arab Emirates High Level Forum: \"Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development\", which was organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in conjunction with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency. Under UNOOSA’s leadership, the forum delivered concrete recommendations in the form of the “Dubai Declaration”, which will contribute to the United Nations event “UNISPACE+50”, to be held in Vienna in June 2018 , which will mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

 

The Dubai Declaration urges all parties to further utilize the space sector as a driver for economic and social development, emphasizing that strengthening socio-economic development will require an integrated approach among the space industry and other sectors to understand and meet the needs of users and the society at large. The recommendations emphasize the need for building stronger international cooperation and coordination in the peaceful uses of outer space at all levels, and the need for broadening access to space. The declaration asserts that space exploration is a long term driver for innovation and strengthening international cooperation on an all-inclusive basis and creating new opportunities for addressing global challenges. It also affirmed the need to strengthen youth and women\'s involvement in the space industry.

 

Participants of the Forum also declared that space economy, space society, space accessibility & space diplomacy constitute the main pillars of the Space2030 – the global space agenda that will emerge from UNISPACE+50.

 

“This Declaration and what we have learned at this Forum have provided us with an understanding of how we should move forward in utilizing space for development, on the need to get open access to space for an increasing number of countries and in assisting States to attain the sustainable development goals,” said Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA. Ms Di Pippo also thanked MBRSC for their excellent work in organizing the Forum.

 

H.E. Dr. Khalifa Mohammed Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The hosting of the UNOOSA High Level Forum in Dubai reflects the UAE’s standing within the global space community as one of the states to enjoy an advanced and ambitious space program.”

 

He continued: “The hosting of the forum comes as part of the UAE Space Agency’s strategic goals of building and strengthening international relationships and partnerships in the field. This stems from a belief in the importance of international cooperation and of developing relationships with the most important stakeholders in the global space sector. These approaches are in line with the strategic plans and visions for the state to establish strong international cooperation and exchange knowledge with other nations around the world.”

 

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors at MBRSC, said that “the UAE has established a solid foundation for sustainability preparing itself for the post oil era, making innovation one of the key indicators in all fields. We have laid the basis for a truly diversified economy, relying on integrated infrastructure and efficient Emirati national talent”.

 

Al Mansoori added: “The UAE’s experience in space has been inspirational to many countries in the region. We are pursuing our ambition for space exploration, integrating space technology in our national development projects, developing a regulating legal framework for the space sector, establishing specialized research centers and developing knowledge transfer programs, hoping that this will contribute to our national goal in positioning the UAE as one of the best nations in the world”.

 

\"The topics discussed at the forum are highly important and essential to achieving a sustainable future for the space sector; and the \"Dubai Declaration\" gave recommendations that enhance and activate the role of space science and technology in achieving comprehensive economic and social development,\" Al Mansoori concluded.

 

H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said: \"The Dubai Declaration is of historical significance for the global space sector as recommendations and trends delivered therein will contribute to a more flourishing future for the global space sector.\"

 

Al Shaibani added: \"Hosting this forum in the UAE and the issuance of the Dubai Declaration affirms the UAE’s attractive positioning for key stakeholders in the global space industry, and the trust placed in the UAE by the global space community.\"

 

Al Shaibani stressed on “the importance of continued compliance with these trends and future courses that aid harnessing space technology and applications to address any challenges for the greater good of humanity”. He added: “The UAE has always supported UN trends with respect to the optimal use of space as a core sector and a driver for socio-economic sustainable development”.

 

\"For many years, there have been close ties and coordination between MBRSC and UNOOSA on space issues. For instance, the Centre has previously hosted the United Nations /United Arab Emirates Symposium on Basic Space Technology,” Al Shaibani concluded.

 

The United Nations/United Arab Emirates High Level Forum hosted by MBRSC is the first of three preliminary forums for UNISPACE+50. The second forum will also be hosted by MBRSC next year.

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