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Space diplomacy: Italy in Vienna committed to Space 2030 agenda

VIENNA, AUGUST 25 – Ambassador Alessandro Cortese addressed today the 64th meeting of the Committee for the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) in Vienna and reiterated Italy’s  commitment to the Space 2030 Agenda and work on the long-term sustainability of outer space. Italy, said the Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, is fostering space diplomacy through its 2021 presidency of the G20.

The current COPUOS session, meeting in the Austrian capital until September 3, will review its Working Group conclusions on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, with a special focus on the issue of space junk. There is an estimated 9,000 tons of waste material in low-Earth orbit and the potential effects of a collision are disastrous, demonstrated by the loss of China’s satellite Yunhai 1-02.

The working group will examine technological innovations using a wider array of radio frequencies and orbital slots necessary to establish a collaborative space tracking and avoidance system. Despite the growing severity of this problem, international cooperation on space debris management has been lacking due to absence of transparency regarding locations of spy-satellites and disagreement on international rules.

Furthermore, space exploration is increasingly characterized by deep rivalries between US and China’s competing space programs. This is exhibited by the US’ banning of Sino-American space cooperation since 2011, with China responding by establishing its own Tiangong space station this April.

The resolution of UNISPACE+50, endorsed by the High-level Segment of UNISPACE+50 in June 2018 and adopted by the General Assembly on 26 October 2018 (A/RES/73/6), emphasized the need to build stronger partnerships at all levels in order to enhance the contribution of space activities for the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, invited COPUOS to develop a “Space2030” agenda and implementation plan, and acknowledged the importance of global partnership and strengthened cooperation among Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, industry and private sector entities in fulfilling the “Space2030” agenda and its implementation plan.

A dedicated working group on “Space2030” agenda of COPUOS was then established to work on the agenda. (@OnuItalia)

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

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