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UNISPACE III Regional Preparatory Conference, Bucharest, January 25-29, 1999

on 25 January 1999

The last of the four Regional Preparatory Conferences organized for the major geographical groups of UN Member States has been held in Bucharest. More than 100 delegates from 21 countries and 8 international organizations took part in the event. It was for the first time after the end of the Cold War that the Eastern European Countries met together officially. Major recomandations emerged from the Conference , directed to the improvment of both space science and space applications by strenghtening the regional co-operation.

A major point regarded the necessity of capacity building by means of space technology, including human resources development. The European Space Agency and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, together with the Romanian Government, co-sponsored the activity. Mr. Marius-Ioan Piso, C.E.O. of ROSA, acted as National Coordinator for UNISPACE III.

The Regional Preparatory Conference for the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) for Eastern Europe was organized by the United Nations Programme on Space Applications in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA); it was co-sponsored and hosted by the Romanian Space Agency on behalf of the Government of Romania.

Its specific objective was to assist Member States within that region to formulate recommendations and action plans for, inter alia, (a) enhancing Member State’s understanding of the role and use of space technology in social and economic development; (b) addressing problems associated with implementing space technology and space-application programmes; and (c) improving and facilitating regional and international collaboration efforts. In that connection, the programme of the Conference took into account the provisional agenda for UNISPACE III. The outcome of the Preparatory Conference, which reflects the aspirations and concerns of Eastern Europe, is expected to serve as one of four regional contributions to UNISPACE III, at which the framework for future international co-operation in space-related activities will be defined.

A total of 89 persons attended the Preparatory Conference, from 21 countries and 8 international organizations, 27 of them from Romania. Participants at the Conference were nationals of the following 13 countries from the region: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation and Ukraine. Participants from Member States of Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) outside the region who attended as observers were from the following eight countries: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States Of America. The Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, participated in the Conference. Representatives from the following international and regional organizations also attended: United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, European Space Agency (ESA) and International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.