50th Session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UN COPUOS


As a permanent observer of the Scientific and Technical (S&T) Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), SGAC participated in the 50th session held from 11-22 February, 2013 at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.

In the first week, SGAC Executive Director, Andrea Jaime, presented SGAC’s general statement in which she covered SGAC’s developments since the last session of S&T in February 2012. More details about the first week can be found here.


Presenting the SGC 2012 results at the UN COPUOS

In the second week, I presented the results and recommendations of the 2012 Space Generation Congress held September 27-29 2012 in Naples, Italy. In my presentation to the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, I provided the delegates with an overview of the Congress, noted some of the many prominent SGC speakers (including the first SGC fireside chat) and presented the topics and specific recommendations from the five working groups (Industry, Agency, Society, Exploration and Earth Observation). You can find the presentation here.

During my activities on behalf of SGAC, I participated in the Action Team 14, the UN’s Action Team on Near Earth Objects. I was pleased to hear of the UN working on an international level to seek solutions to combat a threat to our planet.

“The Subcommittee endorsed the report of its Working Group on Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) that recommended the establishment of an international asteroid warning network (IAWN) by linking together the institutions that are already performing many of the functions, including discovering, monitoring and physically characterising the potentially hazardous NEO population and maintaining an internationally recognised clearing house for the receipt, acknowledgment and processing of all NEO observations.”

This was reported in SpaceRef here.

During discussions about space debris, we had a surprise call from the International Space Station by Commander Chris Hadfield (Canadian Space Agency) who highlighted the increasing dangers they face on the ISS.

Cmdr Chris Hadfield, LIVE from the International Space Station

Cmdr Chris Hadfield, LIVE from the International Space Station

Further news about the second week can be found here.


Me holding the “Union Jack” – the UK flag, at the United Nations.

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