UN Space Office Chief Confirms Regional Centre to Open in Russia by Year-End
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United Nations expects to announce the creation of a new regional centre for space science and technology education in Russia by the end of the year, Simonetta Di Pippo, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Director, Simonetta Di Pippo, told Sputnik.
"COPUOS approved the creation of a Regional Center for Space Science and Technology Education affiliated to the United Nations in the Russian Federation, and the UNGA should confirm it by the end of the year, so it's a big achievement", Di Pippo said. "Russia is really quite a big country, and the creation of a regional centre for space science and technology education can serve all the Russian speaking countries, so you can understand that it's a huge amount of people who can be trained thanks to them".
The facility will be run by the Roscosmos Academy, which established a partnership with several universities in Russia, Di Pippo said, adding that the network will be well structured. Both sides went through a rigorous process to prepare for approval of the new centre, Di Pippo said.
UNOOSA previously partnered with Russia in a number of capacity-building workshops, including on matters related to space law and policy, Di Pippo added and noted that the organisation has six regional centres.
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Talks on the establishment of a UN working group on the long-term sustainability of the use of outer space are advancing and soon there will be an announcement on how the group wants to continue, Di Pippo noted.
"The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space [COPUOS] took place at the end of August - the beginning of September and there have been debates around the topic and the activities are going ahead," Di Pippo said about the working group. "In practice, we see quite a good trend. A group of 21 guidelines was approved, back in 2019, and now this new working group is deciding on what they want to focus on so I believe, soon we will have some important news on how they want to continue."
Di Pippo noted that COPUOS throughout the years has considered different aspects of the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and back in 2010, the scientific and technical subcommittee started to consider agenda items. A number of topics, she added, were addressed under this working group such as space debris, space operations,
and space weather, to name a few.
She said the 21 guidelines approved by consensus in 2019 are considered quite a big achievement.
"Clearly these guidelines provide guidance on the policy and regulatory framework for space activities, safe space operations, international cooperation, capacity building and awareness," Di Pippo added.
In addition, Di Pippo pointed out that the working group also established a scientific and technical subcommittee. Di Pippo said the working group is open to all member states of the committee.
Last year, UNOOSA told Sputnik that it was forming a working group on the sustainable use of space after 10 years of work dedicated to the formalisation of guidelines. COPUOS was expected to consider matters related to the working group during a session last year, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.