UAE Space Agency participates in key meetings with committee on peaceful uses of outer space at UN
Representing the country, the UAE Space Agency participated in United Nations (UN) meetings with the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). This participation falls in line with the UAE Space Agency's objective to play a key role in the international space industry and benefit from principles of international cooperation and knowledge transfer.
The gathering was COPUOUS’ 58th meeting which was held in the Austrian capital Vienna from 10 to 19 June. An official UAE government delegation was led by Engineer Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency and a number of senior Agency officials.
Dr. Al Ahbabi said during a speech he gave to the member states representatives, that the UAE is seeking through this participation to develop its capabilities in the space sector and supplement the global space sector with knowledge and expertise. This comes as part of the UAE’s commitment to closer ties of cooperation at the regional and international level towards promoting the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
He confirmed that the pursuit of the UAE towards global representation in the space sector comes as a natural step considering the efforts made by the nation across the past three decades, which have been led by the guidance and commitment of its leadership. He explained that this has been achieved through a series of specialized global projects by satellite communications entities, data transmission services, broadcasting TV across space and mobile communications.
Dr. Al Ahbabi mentioned the ambitious Hope Probe mission to explore Mars, which will be the first of the UAE Space Agency’s projects in terms of oversight and funding, and will be led by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center. Through this project, the UAE will play a full role in supporting human efforts in discovering the secrets of the Red Planet for future development and to make the UAE amongst the most innovative countries in the world.
The Director General added that the UAE is investing in the space sector through a series of national companies that represent the nation globally. The UAE Space Agency as an official representative of the state in the space sector must now work towards promoting the future role of the UAE in the sector, which now sits today at the heart of the nation’s strategic priorities.
It was made clear by Dr. Al Ahbabi that the UAE is keen to build international relations through cooperation and participation at specialised international events within the sector. This will help to serve the nation, its communities and humanity. It will be achieved through working together with developed countries that have extensive experience in the sector in order to reach the goal of harnessing space science for peaceful use through international cooperation and the advancement of the economies of nations.
The UAE has signed seven MoUs focused on space exploration and peaceful use. The nation has become a centre for a range of summits, conferences and activities across all levels within the growing and vibrant space industry.
COPUOS has 77 members including ten Arabic nations according to official data released by the committee in 2014.
COPUOS was formed in 1985. It consists of two subcommittees namely the Scientific and Technical Committee and the Legal Committee.
They aim to maintain close contact between governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with outer space affairs, and contribute to the exchange of information on outer space activities, as well as to strengthen international cooperation amongst them.