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Italy, UAE and UNOOSA focus on space economy and diplomacy: challenges and opportunities

NEW YORK/VIENNA, MAY 26 – Addressing a virtual event on space economy and diplomacy, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Mariangela Zappia, affirmed the need to secure “the wellbeing of humankind by working together for the long-term sustainability, safety and security of the space environment”.

Space activities are booming, and underline the need for international cooperation and a code of conduct on issues such as not interfering in the peaceful use of space, prevention of space debris and the transparency of exploration and exploitation of space resources, said the Italian Ambassador, opening the panel which was co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Italy and the UAE to the UN in New York with the Vienna-based United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

“Space is more congested and contested every day”, said UNOOSA Director General Simonetta Di Pippo recalling the unprecedented level of interest in space, with record levels of political and economic capital being invested that lead to the strong growth of the so-called space economy. Countries are establishing national space agencies – and commercial space activities continuing to expand: to enhance the space economy and make it beneficial for all there is a clear need to enhance space diplomacy.

The increasing number of economic activities in space is an enormous challenge for humanity to be collectively undertaken, said Zappia. In this regard UNOOSA is a key UN actor in decision making in the space sector. Space has had a profoundly positive effect on society and space apps have vast implications from climate change to disaster management, added the Italian Ambassador. Still there are obstacles to space accessibility, as some countries try to take advantage of others. While significant growth in the number of actors is readily visible and access to space services and data is booming, there are still millions who lack access to even the most basic benefits that space access brings.

Efforts to link space diplomacy and space economy are therefore well timed. With the increasing global investment and socio-economic reliance on space, the need to expand engagement and increase communication channels between space actors is more pressing than ever.

Giorgio Saccoccia of ASI highlighted perspectives from national space agencies on public-private collaboration, along with Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister for State for Advance Technology of the UAE. Attending the event were also leaders of Avio, Space IL from Israel, New Space India Limited (NSIL), Work Mining Space Program from Chile, the Egyptian Space Agency Project Committee, Astroscale and JSC Glavkosmo from Russia. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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