54th Session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

The 54th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) opened on June 1 in Vienna. The event marks two remarkable anniversaries: 50 years of human space flight and the 50th anniversary of COPUOS establishment.

Roscosmos Deputy Head Sergey Saveliev, who leads delegation of the Federal Space Agency at the session, took part in the high level meeting of the Committee which was held on the same day. He addressed the attendees with the speech which emphasized the importance of Yury Gagarin’s space mission for the humankind, and reflected position of Russia aimed at strengthening role of the Committee in keeping space peaceful for further research. 

Roscosmos Deputy Head also was involved in the round table targeted at discussing present and future of space exploration.

A Space Exhibition inaugurated on June 1 in the Vienna Center contains exhibition stand of Roscosmos, as well as bust of Gagarin made upon special order of the Agency. Saveliev handed over the bust to the exhibition which is no opened for public. 

Famous Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov takes part in the event in Vienna these days.

The United Nations' interest in outer space began shortly after the launch of the first satellite in 1957. Recognizing the vast potential of space technology for overcoming Earth-based problems, the Member States of the United Nations established the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), tasked with developing a legal framework for the conduct of activities in outer space and also facilitating the use of space-based technology. 


COPUOS has the following 67 Member States: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Viet Nam. 

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to review the scope of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space. COPUOS and its two Subcommittees each meet annually to consider questions put before them by the General Assembly, reports submitted to them and issues raised by the Member States. The Committee and the Subcommittees, working on the basis of consensus, make recommendations to the General Assembly. 

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. 

The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.unoosa.org/.

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