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Statement on Space Technologies at the 57th session of the Scientific-Technical Sub-Committee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)

Speech

COPUOS STSC, 57th Session, Vienna, 3-14 February 2020 – Germany

Item 6: Space technology for sustainable socioeconomic development

Madam Chair,

Distinguished delegates,

Germany’s space strategy recognizes space as a key to solving global challenges. Therefore, it is our political objective to increase the contribu-tion of space technologies, of space infrastructure and of space-based data and services to sustainable social and economic development.

We also recognize that knowledge, science and research form the basis of technical innovation and are an important source of economic added value and social development. With missions to explore our home planet, micro-gravity research and technology developments on the very edge of what is feasible, space makes a crucial contribution to the attainment of knowledge. Space-based infrastructures contribute to the dissemination and exploitation of knowledge, thus enhancing the accessibility of high-quality data.

Madam Chair, distinguished colleagues,

the UNISPACE+50 Resolution of the General Assembly on space as a driver for sustainable development emphasizes the need to promote international cooperation and to take further coordinated action to ensure that space science and technology and their applications serve the goals of sustainable development and the betterment of humankind.

This is in line with Germany’s effort to exploit particularly the potential of space based earth observation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Re-duction and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Satellite-based earth observation is an indispensable tool for knowledge-based policy-making, and it helps to monitor relevant indicators for progress towards the men-tioned global agendas.

At the Ministerial Council of the European Space Agency in November last year, Germany therefore strongly committed to the further evolution of the European Sentinel satellite fleet and ESA’s Operational Earth Observation program. Future missions will allow for broader and even more so-phisticated Earth observation-based applications for monitoring the envi-ronment. With strong participation from Germany, ESA’s „Future EO“ pro-gram engages in scientific exploitation of Earth observation satellites. A new program on „Global Development Assistance“ intends to intensify the use of satellite-based applications for international development coopera-tion.

Also within its national space program, Germany increasingly seeks to promote projects exploring the use of space-based data and applications for socioeconomic development in partner countries around the globe. A new project „CoExist“, for example, examines the use of satellite applica-tions for monitoring transhumance patterns in Africa. Together with inter-national partners we hope to understand how environmental changes affect forms of seasonal migration. In this way, potential risks of conflict and forced displacement can be mitigated. 

Madam Chair, distinguished colleagues,

In addition to generating data and information useful for sustainable soci-oeconomic development, we must also improve their accessibility and in-crease the capacity and capability of people and institutions to make best use of them. With this in mind, DLR participates for example in the activi-ties of the CEOS Working Group on Capacity Building and Data Democracy. This working group performs a number of activities to increase the ca-pacity of institutions in developing countries for effective use of Earth Ob-servation data for the benefit of society and to achieve sustainable devel-opment. In one of these activities entitled „EO College“, DLR has partnered with ESA to make educational material available in the form of online tuto-rials and massive open online courses.

Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

Exploiting the full potential of space technologies for socio-economic de-velopment requires increased international cooperation among all relevant partners, including international institutions and the private sector. Ger-many therefore highly welcomes events such as the World Space Forum recently held in Vienna that bring together the necessary stakeholders and provide platforms for innovative approaches to global challenges. We also strongly support the development of the Space2030 agenda and its im-plementation plan that will raise awareness for the potential of space technology for socio-economic development.

With this, I would like to thank you for your kind attention.

 

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